Where I Find Him
Chips. Crackers. Cheerios.
These are the courses that comprise my three-year-old’s favorite meal. I don’t allow him to consume all three in one sitting, or even all on the same day but if Jude could have it his way, he’d have Doritos for breakfast, animal crackers for lunch topped off with a healthy portion of dry cheerios for dinner. Left to his own desires, each of these “balanced” meals would be eaten from his favorite Mickey Mouse bowl while tucked under his blanket on the sofa in front of a new episode of “Max and Ruby” on the Disney channel.
His love and affection for all things crunchy has been his birthright. From the moment he sprouted those first front teeth, he’s been reaching out for something to sink them into. Anything edible will do but breads, noodles, fruits or veggies all take a back seat to his true culinary love.
His tastes aren’t complex. They don’t require me to peruse my shelf of old cookbooks in hopes of whipping up something that would impress Julia Child. Nope, his palate’s desires are basic, elementary and consistent.
Which is why I should have known where he’d be when I’d search every room in our home and couldn’t find him. The house had grown quiet – more peaceful than any house that has a toddler in it ever should be. The deafening silence caught my attention and began an all out investigation of every corner and caveat in our small home. I knew he couldn’t have gone far but every room I looked into yielded no results.
His room; empty.
His brothers’; empty.
The den; empty.
My room; empty.
I stood in the kitchen, hands on my hips, nearing the point of potential panic when I heard a snicker escape from underneath the door to the pantry. A muffled sneeze followed and then. . . . crunching.
I opened the door to find a lone batman-pajama wearing cutie-pie sitting on the hardwood floor with a smattering of all of his favorite things organized in front of him. His mischievous smile was filled with the wonder of delightful mischievousness. He was in “pantry heaven” – right where I should have expected him to be.
Ahhh. This made complete sense.
What had it taken me so long? Shouldn’t I have known that this is where I’d find him?
Why is it that you were looking for Me?
That’s what Jesus asked his parents. They had shown up on the temple steps just in time to see their Son sitting amongst the religious elite of the Jewish community and holding His ground in their conversation. Lay people and leaders alike were astounded not only by His thoughtful questions but also by His learned answers.
He . . . was different, unique and unusual.
Joseph and Mary were probably less impressed. They’d spent well over 96 hours searching the dusty caravan of travelers they had left Jerusalem with the day before heading home after the Passover Feast. Assuming that He was with friends or family in the line of travelers, they had stayed their course. But, as the hours passed with no sign of their Son, it had occurred to them that Jesus was not amongst the group. They looked high and low, forward and backward, calling out for Him and asking friends for Him.
Their search yielded nothing.
The two raced back to the city in hopes of finding their boy. No doubt a sense of uneasiness was setting into Mary’s heart as time slipped by.
Twenty-four hours turned to forty-eight, which ballooned to seventy-two and then ninety-six. This was a mother’s nightmare.
Then finally, she saw him and when she did . . . he was in the temple – His Father’s house. Jesus’s words must have pierced her soul in the deepest parts.
“Did you not know that I had to be in Father’s house?”
Ah yes. Of course. Why hadn’t she searched here sooner? It makes sense that this is where He’d be. Indulging the simple, basic, fundamental calling that she knew full well He had.
This is where He belonged – His Father’s House doing His Father’s business
She knew HIM so she should have known THIS.
Have you been searching for Him?
No need to look everywhere. His interests aren’t diverse, complex or impossibly difficult. If your priority is knowing HIM, you should know THIS – you’ll easily find Him on your knees, in His Word. . . .speaking to your heart even now.
He’s closer than you think.