When we just don't understand


But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.
(Luke 2:50 NASB)
And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
(Luke 2:51 NASB)
And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
(Luke 2:52 NASB)



Jesus was now twelve years of age and he had gone to Jerusalem with his parents for the festival. This was an annual journey but this time things were different. Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus had not left to return home with the rest of the extended family and they had to rush back to Jerusalem and search for him. Can you imagine losing the "Son of God?" And where did they find him? In the temple, in conversation and studying with the teachers. Can't you just imagine the parents coming up short when they see him sitting there in the temple? How many twelve-year-old boys are interested in studying like this?

Jesus gathers his things and heads home with his parents. They didn't understand what was going on and they certainly didn't understand when he said he needed to be about his Father's business. Wasn't his father's business doing carpentry work?

Jesus continued on with his life at home with Mary and Joseph. He did nothing to undermine their leadership in the home but Mary sat back and watched this son. I can imagine the days of a distant gaze as she watched her boy and wondered what was "really" going on inside that head of his! He was her precious boy -- he was a little different from the other children -- and she would sit back and wonder...

And the boy continued to grow up in front of his parents -- into a good young man. And they still didn't really understand.


None of us can adequately imagine what it must have been like to be Mary. I'm guessing there were many, many moments in her life when she would stop and look at her boy and think, "Where did you come from?" And she realized she didn't understand...

The hand of God continues to sweep over the world today. God is active and working and moving in our lives and in the lives of others but sometimes we don't understand. We can't see the big picture of what he is accomplishing. Instead we simply see our little piece of things and we step back in wonder and simply have to ponder God's activity.

Mary treasured all that she was observing. What about us? Do we treasure the things that we see happening around us? Do we treasure the fact that God truly can work through the circumstances of our lives -- even when we don't understand?

Mary had incredible faith -- from the moment that the Angel spoke to her and told her she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit until she still at Golgotha -- still there at her son's side -- she was a woman of faith. She is the one who tells the people at the wedding in Cana to do whatever he says. Somehow, after all her years of treasuring and not understanding, she had faith in this boy of hers.

When we learn to see the hand of God in the little things of life, we will begin to see, understand and trust him in the big things of life! That's what happened for Mary and it can happen for us as well. There will be many moments in life when we just don't understand. The question is how we will respond in the midst of not understanding! Will we have faith? Will we trust? Will we be willing to treasure what we don't understand in our hearts and believe and trust God for what will someday be revealed? In the day of "instant" responses, this is not comfortable, but it is what God calls us to do. Be patient. We don't know all that 2013 has to hold and we don't understand. Treasure the moment and live in faith.



Lord, thank you for this new year and more opportunities to treasure your work and your hand of leading. Amen.


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