Scripture references for todays devotion are found in: Luke 2:48-50; and
Philippians 3:9, 12
Girls, searching today for the words to say on this particular post has brought tears—again. In visualizing what Mary and Joseph must have felt—the panic in their hearts as they searched for the greatest Gift from heaven. I wonder if Mary thought she’d failed in her responsibility in watching over her precious Son. God’s Son. I am quite certain—that she called on God the Father to assist her in the search. Of course, Jesus was not out of God’s sight.
I remember clearly walking through K-Mart many years ago, when Jeff and I were shopping for —who knows what—but what I do remember is this: I had Tiffany by the hand. Then I didn’t. She had walked to the side of me and was looking at something on a lower shelf. I turned to the buggy…and she was gone. In less time than it took to retrieve something from a shelf, she had disappeared. Then when I went one way, she had gone another. My stomach instantly flew up my chest and I immediately cried out her name. With panic in my voice, I did not care one bit if people looked at this stricken faced mother strangely. I called her name. (This was before cell phones and Jeff was not with me.) When Jeff heard my call, he came rushing and by the time we connected, we had found our girl. I cried. Still shaken, and wanting to scold her and hold her at the same time, I thanked the LORD for watching her and divine protection. It never happened again.
My gut instantly goes into clinch mode though when I read this account of what must have been akin to fear for Mary and Joseph. While part of me feels that surely they knew that God would protect His Son, the other part of me has to wonder if they were just like normal parents…and they became afraid. Must have been something like that last part, because Mary and Joseph rushed into the Temple where they discovered Jesus.
“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:46-47)
While we know that Jesus wasn’t born walking and talking, He did learn all that His earthly father, Joseph could teach Him of the traditions of the people, and he learned of Mary. I wonder when she told Him of His special birth. The reason why I ask this, when they approached Him in full blown panic mode, He responded so calmly with these words found in verses 49-50 –‘”Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. ‘ And I think…right here, He “thought” they should have understood. Somewhere between the temple steps and the journey home—I think His heavenly Father whispered in His heart to be patient with them. They would learn. But that’s tomorrows study.
I like what Beth shares as a more precise translation of verse 49. “Didn’t you know that I had to be about my Father?” [In the temple. Where the Spirit of God dwelt. Those are my thoughts.]
Something I recall from over 20 years ago. I was missing our maternal grandmother, who had passed away a few years before. Aimee already mentioned her name, Mamo, who was special beyond description. I was driving one day and the weather was just edging into summer. Not quite there, not hot, just mildly warm. The sun was bright and there was a sweet breeze in the air. I had rolled my windows down and was driving slowly down a country dirt road. (We have a lot of those around where we were brought up.)
As I was passing an older clapboard style house with a big welcoming front porch, a scent so sweet and reminiscent of Mamo wafted in the car with me. It teased my senses and brought tears to my eyes. I wanted so much to be in her kitchen. To see her standing at the stove cooking something delightful for me. I cannot describe the feeling, other than to say it was a longing I had not experienced before. Mamo represented peace, home, nurturing, love, comfort and all the things that I think of when I think of my own mother.
I wonder if Jesus had set out with the others, perhaps with a few cousins and then suddenly had such a desire to be “in His Father’s house” that he turned around. Maybe he had not even made it out of town when the strong desire hit Him with a force that He couldn’t explain. Or, perhaps He never left the temple from the morning teachings.
In imagining Mary to be like most mothers, surely He was among the “counted” children before they set out. Reflecting on this, I think that the pull of His heart to His Father was so strong that He had to say to the others with Him, “go on along, I catch up in a bit.” What do you think? This is purely speculation on my part since we don’t know.
I remember before Wanda left this life, we had to get to a place in our hearts where we could say, albeit with much anguish and pain, “go on along. We’ll catch up in a bit.” She had a hunger for God. A thirst for righteousness and it showed in her everyday walk with Christ. She communed with Him constantly. On our behalf. If she were here today, she would seek Him on your behalf as well. She didn’t have to know you to pray. Simple as loving God. It was just her way.
With all my heart—I join Beth in saying, “I want to be about God”. I want to leave my family and friends knowing without a single hesitation or doubt where my heart lies. What my determined purpose is–to search out God. Wherever the journey leads. I want His life to be so embedded into mine that it is difficult to tell the difference. I want to feel the pull in my heart and spirit to be with Him. In daily conversation. Daily. Moment by moment.
Father God, I just have to say I love you. I cannot fully express with the mere words of my simple vocabulary the feelings in my heart. I want to be about You. I want You to fill every space in my heart and life. Rearrange the furniture of my soul. Remove the unnecessary. Show me the hindrances in my life that keep me from fulfilling what You have called me to. If it is simply to blog devotions…I’m your girl. Whatever it is, help my ears hear it…my eyes see it and my heart feel it. Help me to be about Your business. Daily. Moment by moment. Help each one of us—these kind women who have set aside their time to join with us in our quest to know You more—help us to realize with extreme clarity of heart and mind, the purpose You have designed for us in the coming days, weeks and even years until You call us home. We long for more of You than we have ever had before. Enable us to “take” from this place of study in our homes, vital information and heart transformation to share with others who don’t have a clue about Your infinite love. I could go on. But You know our hearts. Bless each individual heart—in a way that they will see and acknowledge You. In Christ holy name I pray~Amen.
Keeping the faith,