We are delighted to share that Maggie has recently published her first book, This Life We Share: 52 Reflections on Journeying Well with God and Others. This post is an excerpt, and our hope is that it will whet your appetite for the entire book! This Life We Share is available wherever books are sold.
by Maggie Wallem Rowe
Have you ever taken your eyes off a child for a moment or two, only for them to become lost? Whether the separation lasts minutes, hours, or longer, the horror of their disappearance time-stamps your brain with trauma.
One heart-stopping day nearly thirty years ago, our youngest son, Jordan, wandered away from our family while we were listening to historic interpreters at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts. Clutching the hands of our older children, my husband and I ran through the site, screaming Jordan’s name until we found him safely in the care of an employee near the entrance gate. I still have nightmares about the incident.
So my sympathies are fully with Mary, mother of Jesus, for her frantic response after becoming separated from her oldest child for a full three days. Jesus’ family had joined a caravan of other travelers returning to Nazareth after celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem (Luke 2: 41-52). When Mary didn’t see her über responsible firstborn among their relatives and friends, she may have assumed he was assisting other families. (Something tells me that came naturally to Jesus, even at twelve.) But when he was nowhere to be found, Mary and Joseph hurried back to Jerusalem and searched for him everywhere, only to finally locate him in the inner courtyard of the Temple, listening and asking questions of the teachers.
We can relate to Mary’s stern questioning, born out of days of stomach-churning fear: “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” What strikes me about the account, though, is that the separation was not on Jesus’ part. Scripture tells us that while Jesus was still in Jerusalem, the group left for home, “thinking he was in their company.” Jesus’ human family left him behind, and they traveled on thinking they were mindful of him when they were not. Jesus did not leave them. They were the ones who left him.
How powerfully convicting that passage has become to me! I know Jesus, love him, and fully intend to stay close to him every day. But how often do I travel on my oblivious little way, thinking I’m being mindful of him, when I’m not?
Acknowledged or not, the God of our journey is present with us at all times, in all ways, in all circumstances. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were aware of God’s presence walking with them in the Garden. It was their sinful actions that caused the terrible separation theologians speak of as “the Fall.” Even after that, God makes a promise to his people: “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Leviticus 26:12). Then he did just that, coming to Earth in the person of Jesus. As Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin once said, “God walking on the Earth is more important than man walking on the moon.”
God is not simply an aspect of our lives but rather the one who is in and over all things. Our Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end of our journeys on this side of eternity. And he sent his only Son to take on our flesh and blood and move into the neighborhood (John 1:14).
He came not only as Savior but as Friend. We are the cause of his journey from heaven to earth. We can walk the road of our lives with confidence because of the one who came to walk with us. Let’s walk closely with the God of our journey in every aspect of our lives.
Taken from This Life We Share by Maggie Wallem Rowe. Copyright © 2020. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Maggie Wallem Rowe is a national speaker, dramatist, blogger, and writer, as well as the former Director of Women’s Ministries for Vision New England. Maggie’s first book, This Life We Share: 52 Reflections on Journeying Well with God and Others just released from NavPress. Maggie and her husband, Mike, have three adult children, two bonus kids, and five grandchildren. Visit her at www.MaggieRowe.com.
Maggie is also one of our featured speakers in the by design Speakers Directory. If you are looking for a Christian speaker for your special event, please visit our online directory or contact us to request a hard copy.