Your praying creates a vein through which the grace, help and love of God can flow.
Where are we In the Course of Time? Are we on the outer edges of the time the Bible refers to where the antichrist runs the world? Are we seeing the formation of that rise in power with ISIS? Has God put us in such a stupor that we are paving the way for it to flourish? Are we seeing the beginning of that time of which the Bible says we will be forced to accept a number in submission to that power (which results in a denial of Christ) to be able to buy and sell?
Either Satan has deceived them into believing they are doing God a favor and God is waiting on us to stop them, or God has stirred them and put us in such a stupor that we have no will to stop them. There is really only one way to know for sure. If Satan is behind it, they can be defeated. If we are on the outskirts of the end of times, we may remain in our stupor. But my prayer is that we will be stirred into action—swift and decisive action. If God is with us, we will win. If not . . . we can assume the curtain has been drawn.
We bought gifts this weekend for our 3 granddaughters. They won’t receive them for awhile. In fact they don’t even know that we have them. It made me wonder how many gifts my heavenly Father has for me that I, at this time, know nothing about.
“After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy stayed behind, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to look for him. After three days they found him.”
Luke tells this story of Jesus when he was 12 years old. It was time to head back home and after a full day of travel Mary and Joseph stop to set up camp with the friends and relatives they are traveling with. It was safer to travel in a group – and it had to have been a pretty big group for Jesus’ absence to go unnoticed for an entire day. But it wasn’t until they stopped to set up camp that they realized he was missing.
So while everyone else settled in for the night, Joseph and Mary set off – on their own and in the dark – back to Jerusalem. They made it of course, but imagine the actual journey. They traveled in a group for a reason. But here they are by themselves in the black of night. And yet, more than the fear of what could happen along the way, was what could happen to their missing son.
I’m sure they hoped they would get into town and he would come running up to them and all would be well. But it didn’t happen that way. It took three more days of searching after they got there before they found him. Luke tells us that when they finally found him, Mary said, “Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
He was missing. Who knows what had happened to him. We read it all in just a few verses and know rather quickly that it ends well. We don’t have the time to experience the worried sick feeling they felt while they searched day after agonizing day.
Sometimes our searching for Jesus – if we’re really going to find him – will pull us away from our normal way of doing things. Did I mention that it might take longer than we think it should? That there might be a little agony involved?
When Mary told Jesus that they had been frantically searching for him, she also asked, “Why have you treated us this way?” He knew they were looking for him. Why didn’t he make himself a little easier to find? Why didn’t he meet them when they first stepped into town?
I wish I knew the answer to that. Sometimes our seeking is hard and just gets harder. Mary and Joseph, after 3 days of agonizing searching, have found Jesus. After a brief celebration and sigh of relief, it’s time again to head home; only this time, since their friends and relatives are probably already there, they will be traveling alone.
Just a short note to say I’ll be bowing out for awhile.
I saw her childhood photos-
my wife of thirty years.
That innocent age I never knew-
the guilt my mind now hears.
Were in our twenties when we met-
were free of childish things;
but now would welcome the return-
the innocence childhood brings.
I wonder had I seen those pics
years and years ago,
would I’ve done more to keep in mind
the girl I didn’t know?
I can’t relive those thirty years,
but the next ones are on me.
Layer by layer I’ll strip away
til that little girl I see.