“When your world is rocked, you don’t want philosophy or theology as much as you want the reality of Christ.” – Lee Strobel
If you’ve ever lost track of a young child, your concern moves to panic pretty quickly as you search for him.
When I read about Joseph and Mary trekking back to Nazareth with their neighbors and extended family after celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem, I think of that sense of panic. They had walked for an entire day before they realized 12-year-old Jesus wasn’t with them. They apparently assumed he was part of the Nazareth group, hanging out with friends or cousins as they walked.
Of course, the story ends well. They go back to Jerusalem, then spend a day in the city searching for him before they find him in the Temple discussing theology with the religious leaders.
What struck me, though, is that Jesus was missing and they didn’t know it. If Jesus went missing on us, how long would it be before we noticed? That won’t happen, of course, because Jesus has promised never to leave us, but too often we live as though he has walked away. We forget to talk to him, to ask him for guidance, or to thank him for his goodness to us.
The reality is that sometimes his presence is so real we feel we can reach out and touch him. At other times, we’re not sure he even hears our prayers. The life of faith enables us to believe his promise never to leave us and, when it feels like he’s far away, he can be found.
Jesus has not gone missing. He’s here. He’s close. He’s waiting for us to reach out to him. He wants to be found.
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11