And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold…
The words may usefully remind us that the dealings of the Lord Jesus with those who sincerely love and serve Him are often very strange. Not only does He try them by ordinary troubles, such as loss of health and loss of friends, but sometimes He takes away from them all spiritual comfort, and leaves their souls dark and disconsolate. Once they had joy and peace in believing, but they have it no longer now. Perhaps it is that they have grown lukewarm and self-sufficient, and He withdraws Himself from them for a time, to make them seek Him with greater earnestness. Where this is the case, people must go on seeking till they find. The dryness and hardness of our minds in prayer may be a sore distress to us, but we must not give over praying: we must be content to seek Him sorrowing. Where we cannot pray as we would, we must pray as we can. We must not "faint," but determine to make ourselves heard at heaven's gate. And then it shall be "but a little," and we shall find Him whom our soul loveth. And when we have found Him, we must be careful to hold Him, and "not let Him go." One who knows the Saviour's love, and lives in habits of holy intercourse with Him, must, as it were, keep His eye upon Him constantly by Christian watchfulness and an effort to realize His presence everywhere. Let such an one lose Him by wilful disobedience, or careless self-indulgence, or by relaxing in prayer and in the effort to believe, and there will be nothing but "sorrowing" till He is found again. Most merciful is it of God, when we are living without Christ, to hedge up our way with thorns, to make conscience uneasy, worldly pleasures unsatisfactory, and even religious exercises disappointing and irksome. Anything is wholesome, however bitter, which drives us to His side, and keeps us there.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.