Imagine for a moment the instant fear and overwhelming panic when a young mother who is shopping in the mall with her three small children suddenly realizes that the oldest toddler has disappeared. Just a second ago he was at her side. Now he’s gone. She franticly shouts out for her child, and then in near hysteria screams, “my child is missing!” She calls for the store manager, she abandons her cart with her purchases and her purse and she looks up and down each isle. She is in full panic mode. Nothing will stop her quest to find her precious son. Read more…..
Before I finish the story above, we all know that there is a very similar story in the New Testament. In this story, it is Jesus who has wondered off from His parents. It took Mary and Joseph three days to locate Jesus. They had to retrace their steps back to Jerusalem, most likely losing some hope with each passing minute. Eventually, they find Him in the temple. Upon finding Him Mary states: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” Luke 2:48
The first story turned out well too. The boy had just stepped outside the store and into the mall itself. There, a nice lady held onto him until his mother found him. Her son was only away from her side for a couple of minutes but for this mother those minutes seemed like an eternity. Upon finding her son, she thanked the lady, grabbed her purse, left her purchases in the cart, took all three children to the car where she sat and cried.
Both of these stories had happy endings. The boys were both found safe and sound. Sadly, we all know that these situations today do not always have a happy ending. Some of these stories end tragically.
I have often wondered if Mary had this thought enter into her mind as she looked for Jesus: “Oh my, I have lost the Son of God!”
What can these two stories teach us? I submit to you that each of us, from time to time, loses sight of the Son of God in our life. We become distracted by worldly things and before we know it, Jesus is not there by our side. The difference in our stories is that it is you and I who wonder away, not Jesus. We wander from Him. He never wanders from us!
As I stated above, the point that struck me in the two stories of missing boys was the urgency of the mothers to find them. One boy was missing for mere minutes and Jesus was missing for three days. Some Christians seem to wander off from Jesus for months and years. Surprisingly, when they come to the realization that Jesus is not at their side, they seem to have no panic, hysteria, or anxiety about finding Him.
Jesus is the door to the Father. Jesus is the life giving water that sustains us. Jesus is the key to everlasting life. Nothing should be more important to us than keeping Him always in our sight and always at our side. If perchance you feel as if you have temporarily wandered from the Son of God, I urge you to react with the same level of urgency that both of these mothers did in today’s message. We have no lease on life. Seconds and minutes matter. If we are nonchalant about finding Christ, our stories could have a tragic ending.
Stop right now and ask yourself: “Is Jesus standing at my side?” If you discover that He is not, I implore you to act with urgency right away.
Most Heavenly Father, it is so easy to get distracted by the world and before we know it, we no longer have your son at our side. When this happens, grant me an immediate resolve and determination to find Him. Amen.
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I want to thank everyone at Transfiguration Parish in Blythewood, SC who made this past weekend’s retreat a Christ filled experience. Thank you for your gracious hospitality. I was blessed to spend this time with you. May God’s blessings be with you.