Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Left Behind

My mom lost me at the Piggly Wiggly when I was five years old (for you who are not in the Southeast, that is a grocery store believe it or not!).  I remember it vividly.  I was terrified!  I couldn't find her so I decided to go out to the car and sit on the hood and wait for her.  I mean, in my mind it made sense because eventually, she would leave, right?  Little did I know, she wasn't going anywhere without me.  She was in a total panic inside the Piggly Wiggly as I sat outside, waiting.  

About thirty minutes later, I saw police cars drive up.  Police were running in, sirens were blaring.  I wondered what was going on in there, so I decided to go look and see.  Oops.  They were looking for me!  My mom came running over to me, sobbing, picked me up and swung me around in the tightest hug I'd ever received.  She said "Where have you been!?"  I said "I was at the car...I knew you'd come there eventually."  The police left and I thought I'd be in some big trouble at that point but she didn't seem to be mad.  I think her relief trumped her anger.  Whew!

As a mom, I now understand why she didn't leave the store. We don't look for our children who are missing and then say "Oh, well.  I suppose I'll just go home now.  Too bad I can't find my child but life goes on!"  No, we search frantically.  We search without abandon.  We love our child and the thought of something happening to our child will send us into a complete tailspin.  I've lost my children briefly and I can tell you, the world seems to stop.  It's terrifying!

In Luke 2, we read about how Mary & Joseph lost Jesus once.  They were leaving Jerusalem after the Passover feast when He was twelve years old.  They traveled with a large group of people because they assumed Jesus was with them in the group somewhere.  (This kind of reminds me of the movie Home Alone, but I digress...)  They traveled all day and that evening when they went to look for Him, they couldn't find Him.  The Bible says it took three days for them to find Him.  Wow - can you imagine?  My heart races as a mom as I think about the lack of sleep, the guilt, the fear, the total panic they must have been feeling!

When they finally found Him at the temple, they didn't know what to think.  Mary said "Son, why have you done this to us?  Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere!"  He asked "But why did you need to search?  Didn't you know I must be in my Father's house?"   He was genuinely amazed that they didn't know where to find Him - especially since they knew who He really was, the Son of God.

Have I ever been comfortable, surrounded by people, focused on a destination or goal of going somewhere, only to leave Jesus behind?  When I go searching for Him, will I blame Him for not coming with me or will I realize that in my confusion and lack of focus, I just assumed He had come along?  I must search for Him and make sure He is with me before I go anywhere.

You've probably heard the saying "If you feel like God is not with you, just remember, He's not the one who moved."  This is a prime example.  I cannot blame Jesus if I feel distant from Him.  I probably got distracted, probably got caught up in being busy or in a goal and just assumed He was following me.  But is that the way it works?

Jesus says "Follow Me."

If there is anything in your life today that is pulling you away and distracting you from the most important relationship in your life, I urge you to seek the Lord's guidance on how to find the balance you need in order to seek Him first above anything else.  Is it another person?  A task?  A goal or a dream?  What about a hobby, the computer or television?  He has not left you - He loves you and He wants to connect with you but sometimes we need to consciously disconnect in order to recognize our distractions can become idols in our lives when we put them above time with Him.

Jesus is genuinely amazed when we don't know where to find Him, just as He was amazed that His parents didn't know where to find Him.  He says He will "never leave you, never forsake you." So where is He today?  "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"  1 Corinthians 3:16

He's in the temple, of course.  Not a temple made by human hands, but in the hearts of those who believe in Him. 
 

1 comment:

Kendra said...

I'm big on the pig!!! :) and your wonderful, beautiful, Spirit filled analogies!! What a gift!!!!

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