Stones To Stand On – #wordoftheyear

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For the past several years I have witnessed, with some amusement (I admit) and puzzlement, the phenomenon of choosing a word for the year.

A word of the year for what? What purpose? Other than, in my mind, another thing to fail at doing or forget to remember. I didn’t understand how just one word could be meaningful for an entire year. And do you select that word or does it choose you? I obviously and completely missed the point.

Until this year. I think I get it. Maybe.   { Read More Here:  4 Blessings of Selecting a Word for Your Year ~}

The Lord plunked a word down in my spirit during this past Christmas season and it won’t let go. In this case, I think this word has chosen me. And so, for the first time, 2017 will be a year with a word.


In a sea of words like strength, fearless, courage, peace – ponder chooses me. Such an unusual word.

If this is to be a word that weaves itself into the fabric of my life, I need to understand it, maybe even grasp its importance, and hopefully be prepared for how I might encounter it. I don’t want to miss this.

I spent an afternoon looking up all the places where the word ponder is used and I find myself in a very distinguished company of ponderers.

David pondered God’s love, his statues, and declared that all mankind would ponder the mighty acts and works of God.

Daniel pondered the revelations of God.

Isaiah pondered the fate of Israel.

Nehemiah pondered the outcry of the poor.

Solomon pondered the proverbs.

In all of these instances, pondering means to understand; to have wisdom; to be discerning; to consider carefully within oneself; consider with full attention.

All of these leaders of the faith engaged in a practice of seeking a deeper level of understanding and of growing in wisdom. This is certainly important. Paul prays for wisdom and discernment over the church at Ephesus and it is a prayer I make often, even daily.

I cannot shake the impression that there is more to this word, ponder, that I am to experience.ponder

The last time the word ponder is used in the Bible is in Luke 2:19, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

This is why this word landed on me at Christmas time. Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered.

Here, pondered means: to exert mental effort in storing information so as to have continual access and use of it—‘to cause oneself to be fully aware of, to keep in mind, to remember.’ [1]

What did Mary ponder? Why is this important for us to know? Why is this a word that I need to pay attention to?

Luke tells us that Mary took things to heart three times:

~ when the shepherds came at the birth of Jesus.

~ at the prophecies of Simeon and Anna.

~ when Mary and Joseph found 12-year-old Jesus sitting with the teachers at the temple.

She did not simply take note and then store these events in her memory. She constantly recalled them, replayed them, until they became part of who she was. They were stones upon which she stood in her faith.

In far too short a time, Mary is at the foot of the cross her son Jesus is hanging on. The son the shepherds came to see, the son Simeon and Anna both spoke prophecies over, the son who declared he knew who his Father was.

Mary, in the most difficult time of her life, in the midst of the doubt and crushing hurt, recalls all that she had pondered over the years:

You will give birth to a son

You are to give him the name Jesus,

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.

The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,

He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.

Today a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord

For my eyes have seen your salvation, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, glory to your people Israel

This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel

to be a sign that will be spoken against,

the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed and a sword will pierce your own soul too.

Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?

The practice of pondering saw Mary through the darkest of days.

I don’t know what 2017 holds. I certainly pray it does not hold a tragedy. But I know, with God impressing upon me to ponder, that he doesn’t want me to miss his activity, his promises, and his assurances. I must pay better attention this year.

Yes, I need to grow in wisdom and discernment. Yes, I need to consider things carefully. Most importantly, I need to exert the mental exercise to remember and recall how God has worked and spoken into my circumstances. The time will come when those memories will be stones upon which I need to stand.

Ponder ~ build stones of faith upon which to stand. Click To Tweet

I don’t know what that might be. But in the practice of pondering, I will be ready.

Do you have a word for the year? If you do, please comment below and let me know what it is and why. And if not – feel free to adopt ponder along with me!

May your 2017 be full of the wonderfulness of God.

Love and blessings,


[1] Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.). New York: United Bible Societies.
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