Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Trouble With Supposing

When my kids were younger it was not uncommon for me to trail behind my family as we left church, much as a cow herder would, prodding along the dawdlers. There was a whole passel of kids around the same age and if you weren't careful you'd end up with the right number, but the wrong children. After doing that several times, and seeing their panic when I tried herding them into our van, I learned to check faces and not just count heads. When my sisters and I were together it was a different story, though—we would tend to our own kids, as well as each other's not worrying whose was whose.

A few weeks ago I got to teach my Wednesday kids about the time Mary and Joseph accidentally left Jesus behind in Jerusalem. I can understand how easily that can happen! (Which is why we count kids before leaving anyplace!) The fear that rushes through you when you find one of your children is missing is not a pleasant feeling, and it took Mary and Joseph three days to find Jesus. Those must have been very long days!

As a side note to his message the other day, Pastor Mike drew our attention to Luke 2:43-44 “...and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. And His parents were unaware of it, but supposed Him to be in the caravan...” How many times have we embarked on something thinking it was what we were do, only to realize once we got into it and looked around that God wasn't where we supposed Him to be? Sure, He never leaves us, but there are definitely times we do things that are not what God wants for us and we frantically look around, wondering where He is.

It was a good reminder for me that just because God will never leave me does not mean that He will follow me. I need to seek Him out and stay tucked close to His side so that I can follow Him without being separated from Him. Just like when I grab the hand of my smaller children so that I don't lose track of them, I want to hold on to God.

6 comments:

  1. You made me giggle with your "gathering issues," and really think when you got to the point. I LOVE your line about just because God is with you, doesn't mean we're following. I needed that one this morning. This is a wonderful message for ME!

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  2. Wow! Peej, this is a great post! Most excellent, my friend!

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  3. "It was a good reminder for me that just because God will never leave me does not mean that He will follow me."

    Very good point! I tend to see God as a solid rock that is in one place and is unmovable. He stays in the same place, but sometimes I drift away from him. It's never easy to hear from God if you walk miles away from him. You have to stay close by in order to hear his voice.

    Thank you for sharing, Patty. :)

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  4. We've left a kid a time or two...I understand how they felt.

    I've also seen a child who thought their mother had left, but was still nearby...I think we often feel like that child, panicking because we thought we were alone.

    Nice thoughts, thanks.

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  5. First time visiting your blog! This story really touched me, I like how you took your own experiences and turned it into a lesson for all of us. -Azure

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  6. Wow, Patty! Great post and great point! I love the humor mixed in with the very simple, yet deep message about following God, not the other way around. Another great one for ya! Blessings! ~ Tracy

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