There are days when God seems distant. When we can't feel His nearness. It almost seems as though we've lost Him. That sense of security is waning. Questions abound. Yet our mind tells us to trust, to believe. Our mind knows He promises to never leave us.
Jesus' own mother knows that feeling.
She lost Him once herself...
"Each year, Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when He was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. Thinking that He was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him."
Can you imagine this? The uncertainty, the anxiety, the pain in Mary's heart-- not only was her son missing, but He was the Son of God.
After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for You with great anxiety."
Mary understands the anxiety we have when we can't see what God is doing in our lives. The mental searching for directions, for reasons, for understanding.
And He said to them, "Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what He said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced (in) wisdom, and age, and favor before God and man."*
Even after His parents found Him, they didn't understand it all. We won't understand everything that happens in our lifetime, but we can continue to find Jesus in it. We can find Him in the friend who gave us a random hug just when we needed it. We can find Him in the peaceful sunset on a stressful day. We can choose to trust that He is there even when we don't see Him in the way we would wish.
And like His Mother, we can keep all these things-- these moments of finding Jesus-- in our hearts.
*Scripture from Luke 2