You only had one job to do…
In the past when I have messed things up, I’ve felt embarrassed, frustrated, and more sure that I can’t get things right. But everyone makes mistakes, even the woman God trusted to raise Jesus, and if that doesn’t make me feel better, what can?
In Luke 2, Jesus is 12, the same age as my Noah. The relatives and friends of Jesus’ family are all on their way home from Jerusalem after the Passover Feast. Comfortable that Jesus is safely nearby, Mary and Joseph travel for an entire day before they come to the conclusion that He is nowhere to be found.
Just pause here for a minute and imagine the panic. Yikes! Once I lost my mother-in-law’s cat, and I cried my eyes out and nearly threw up. She lost Jesus!! Can you even imagine? No cell phones, no Amber Alerts, mind you. Just searching for him…
Thankfully, Jesus was found, teaching in the temple three days later. In verse 47, it says, “Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” At 12 years old. Wow. Then on to verse 48, “When his parents saw him, they were astonished.” I don’t know if this astonished is the same as everyone’s amazement in verse 47. I like to think so. But the Message translation says “But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.” And finishing out verse 48, Mary begins to scold him a bit.
Naturally, she had been freaking out. Jesus was gone for days, and finally found. I can’t even imagine the emotions she must have been feeling.
But I do know that after she simmered down, she saw the beauty of that moment, watching this child – whom she no-doubt had rocked to sleep, sang songs to, and gave soft kisses on his cheek as he drifted off to sleep – this child… now growing and maturing, teaching and leading. She was seeing more of the whole picture, and knew for a moment that she needed to take a mental snapshot of what had just happened. Verse 51 said, “But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
By the way, I wish I could have known Mary. I think we could have been the best of friends.
There are so many times I mess up, and consequently want to give up. Do you ever feel like one mistake, one wrong, one sin, can ruin everything? We screw up, and can’t imagine God can still love us. We can’t imagine people can have faith in us again. We can’t imagine we can be forgiven.
But we can.
God doesn’t want us running from Him when we blow it. He wants us to keep going. He is there to love us through it, help us learn from it, but He will not give up on us. He loves us too much to do that.
Mary didn’t give up. Mary treasured the good from that moment, and kept going. She continued to raise Jesus, loving Him, and pouring everything she had into the plan God had for her life.
And that is what we are to do. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Acknowledge your mistake, ask God for forgiveness and help, and keep on going. We don’t want to miss out on a second of what He has planned for us.
Onward and upward, dear friends.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13,14