It’s a typical weekday. I wake up early, before the kids, and get the dishwasher unloaded, breakfast started, my caffeinated tea made. Just as I sit down to read my Bible, little feet come thumping down the stairs, and the day actually begins.
So much for my quiet time.
For the rest of the day, I’m battling unexpected needs—spills, skinned knees, bickering, a broken dish, reheating my tea, poop, a baby who won’t nap—while trying to manage the needs I already knew about: breakfast, dishes, laundry, a phone call, lunch, dishes, laundry, emails. Some of it I handle with grace, but by lunchtime, I’m locked behind the bathroom door, scrolling through the beautiful squares of Instagram. My four-year-old knocks on the door and asks, “What are you doing?”
On days like this, I wonder, Can Jesus relate to my life? I know he has been tempted in all ways, and I believe that. But when I whisper a prayer for potty training patience (again) or sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” I wonder. What could an unmarried Jewish man understand about my day-to-day?
I didn’t realize I thought this way until reading through the gospel of Mark. Right there in the first chapter I found my answer.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
“Everyone is looking for you.” Jesus goes away to pray and all those needy people find him. Not a moment’s peace. Needs appear all the time, everywhere he goes. His disciples bicker and sick people shout to him and he can’t even take a nap because his friends are afraid of a storm, for crying out loud.
Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago. He never married, he never had four kids 5 and under, and he never had to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But his years of ministry were spent responding to the needs of sick, whiny, foolish, sinful people—children. He healed them, rebuked them, taught them, and loved them. He got tired and hungry and he sought times of quiet for prayer; he never sought refuge in Instagram. And even though he never had any needy children like the ones I have, I know he has at least one needy child every time I say a little prayer while hiding in the bathroom.
Yes, Jesus understands my life. He understands it better than I ever will.