No Better Place to Be
By Michelle Wallace
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover. When Jesus was 12, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends.
When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.”
“But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant.
This story reveals that even as a child Jesus recognized His life was consecrated or set apart for exclusive use of His Father. He said, “I only do what I see my Father do; I only say what I hear my Father say.” The result was that people marveled, they were in awe and wonder.
Comedian, Michael Jr., relates the story through Mary and Joseph’s eyes. “When Jesus was 12 years old, Mary and Joseph lost Jesus. They lost Jesus! You know the first thing they had to do was pray. I wonder what that prayer must have sounded like? Joseph probably said the prayer. He was like, ‘Oh God, dear God, Oh forgiving God…Um, You remember that Messiah you gave us? You got another somewhere man, cuz we don’t…That was the only begotten son?! Ok, we’re gonna find him, we’re gonna find him!’”
The truth is, Jesus was never lost because he was always in the center of his Father’s will. The safest and best place to be is in the will of God. Does that exempt us from experiencing pain or struggles? No! Jesus said, in this world you will have trouble! But, take heart, because He has overcome the world! In other words, when we’re found in Him the redemptive plan of God is always at work.
Joseph’s brothers threw him under the bus by selling him into slavery. He could have been bitter, however he understood God had a plan. He said, what his brother’s meant for evil, God meant for good, for the saving of many lives.
What if we looked at all things through this lens? It might not make it easier. But it would give us greater hope and so much peace.
While on a trip to Vietnam I visited a government run orphanage. The atrocities I saw left me undone! Disabled children tied to beds, others left in chairs because of the lack of caregivers. I happened upon one woman who was clearly out of her mind. She was striking a child strapped in a chair. I went back to my room and told the Lord I couldn’t do it. I was sad because I just didn’t have the strength or the emotional margin to be there. But He gently and kindly wiped my tears, strengthened my arms for the work. “Michelle, the darkness isn’t dark to me. You are my answer to these children. Will you let me love through you?”
Do we believe we can shift atmospheres, change cultures, bring light to the darkness and life in places of death! Our lives should cause others to marvel. As the Father sent the Son, so He sends you.
There’s a scripture that plainly answers the question of a broken world, even as it seems to grow darker. “Arise [from spiritual depression to a new life], shine [be radiant with the glory and brilliance of the Lord]; for your light has come, and the glory and brilliance of the Lord has risen upon you. “For in fact, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness will cover the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory and brilliance will be seen on you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60: 1-3 Amp.
I travel with my friends Kevin and Cheyenne to Vietnam. We visit several orphanages, but one of the orphanages we support is run by nuns. There’s a little girl named Tram. Most of the children come as infants saved from abortion. The moms are given a home and equipped to keep their baby. But if it’s not possible they surrender the baby. Tram was older when she was left on the steps of the orphanage by her mom. On the streets she was made to sell lottery tickets. In the orphanage she worked as a caregiver to the younger children. From the moment he met her, Kevin was in love with Tram. The lonely little girl in the corner, fell right back in love with him. Kevin and Cheyenne wanted to bring Tram home, but adoption between the U.S. and Vietnam was closed. God spoke Psalm 68: 6 to my heart. “I set the lonely in families.” Only God knew the long and difficult road to His promise.
On one particular visit the head nun said she was putting Tram back on the streets. Cheyenne was horrified. “What if she is made to sell more than lottery tickets,” she asked. “Not my problem,” the nun responded. Kevin began to speak, “We know your love for these children, your sacrifice and how hard you work to care for them.”
Something in the heavens broke in that moment. The power that comes through loving in the most difficult circumstance melted the heart of stone and tears began to flow. Kevin said what His Father was saying. It’s His loving kindness that leads us back to Him.
Two years ago, adoption was again open between the U.S. and Vietnam. One of the first children placed on the list for approval was a little girl named Tram. And in September of 2017 Tram arrived safely in the U.S. She’s no longer lonely, she’s part of a family. Because of Kevin’s commitment to lead a life set apart for God, Tram’s home. There’s great adventure in His will. And there’s no better place to be.
To learn more about Michelle and see what she’s up to, visit her page on Facebook at “Michelle Wallace-Hand of the King”.