What's Best?

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Luke 2:41-52

“Why were you looking for me?” (v. 49)

Christine, a lively four-year-old, disappeared around the corner. Her mother seemed not to notice and kept talking with her visitor. “Don't you have to go after your daughter?” “Oh, she's okay.” The visiting mom was not convinced. They were in rural Bangladesh, about as far from suburban America as one could get. She couldn't imagine raising her children there, much less letting one run out of sight. Christine's mom sensed the discomfort. “Really, she'll be all right. Everyone in the village knows her. She has moms everywhere. In the States I couldn't let her run like that. It's an advantage of living here.”

She could have mentioned other advantages, like greater ability to shelter her child from western media, and more family time with fewer distractions to pull them apart. The two moms could also have discussed downsides to parenting in Bangladesh. But every place has pros and cons for raising a family. What counts is being where God wants us to be and, if you are a parent, doing your best whatever the circumstances. When Mary and Joseph famously lost track of their twelve-year-old, he reminded them God's work had priority. Parenting concerns, as important as they are, should not drive our decision-making about where to serve the Lord—or what's best for others—especially if those concerns are created by unwarranted assumptions.


Heavenly Father, I want your perspective on what's best for me and my family.