One hot summer day, my husband Gene and I took our oldest son and daughter to a local street festival. Prisca sat in the stroller, securely strapped in, but Tim was walking on his own. Almost 20,000 people had gathered for the event. We were pushing our way through the throngs of people when Gene and I became separated. I had Prisca safely in front of me in the stroller, but after Gene paused to examine the crafts in a booth, he looked up in a panic. Tim was nowhere to be seen. In a matter of seconds our son had disappeared.
In those moments, the story of Mary and Joseph searching for their son in Jerusalem became very real to us. Gene searched frantically this way and that. When he found Tim at the local fire station, surrounded by kindly firemen, Gene swept Tim into his arms. No doubt Mary, after three days of searching, did the same with Jesus. Luke 2:48 reflects some of her fears: “Why have you done this to us?” And even after he explained his absence, Mary and Joseph did not understand. From their perspective, this boy, only 12 years old, needed to be at home, still under the protection of his parents.
Where Mary’s embrace had earlier offered security and comfort, now her touch represented confinement. She was restricting her son, keeping him from his appointed task.
Where does God call you to step out boldly into ministry? And what (or who) holds you back?