Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Have you ever wondered if maybe God miscalculated the number of hours needed in a day?
Have you ever questioned His understanding of what it takes to live this life?
We can submerge ourselves into His Word, but at the end of the day, we can’t understand how that time spent will get the bills paid, the house cleaned, the grocery shopping done, the yard work finished,
the family fed, or the kids ready for bed. Maybe God just didn’t think far enough ahead into our fast paced, schedule driven, technology powered world. Maybe He’s not being reasonable by allowing us to spend a little less time with Him, so that we could get things done. And what about when the holidays come around?
Did He not anticipate the decorations that have to be put up, the parties that need thrown, or the extra jobs that must be worked to pay for it all?
Maybe God missed it.
Or maybe we have.
The question we have to ask ourselves is, “Am I a Mary or a Martha?” (Maybe we have multiple personalities that include the two. LOL) In Luke 10: 38-42, we find two women named Martha and Mary entertaining Jesus, only to end up at the brunt of one of His many unorthodox teachings. In those days, the women were to prepare the meals etc. The men were to be at the feet of a rabbi or teacher of the torah. There was no exception. So, Martha took her place in this world. And obviously, Martha was feeling as though she had more to do than she could handle on her own. (We can relate!) But, Mary recognized that her Lord was in the next room and there was nothing that was going to keep her from sitting at His feet.
The bottom line is, we all have a Mary heart . . . but we’re living in a Martha world. There’s things to be done. So, we can’t help but live our lives in the footsteps of Martha. But, in this account in Luke, Jesus beckons the “Mary heart” in all of us. As Martha politely, yet forcefully, demands that Jesus tell Mary to help her with the preparations, Jesus shocks us all with His response:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke:10:38-42 (NIV)
Don’t you care? It’s a question we ask God a lot . . . if we’re honest. His answers sometimes come in the form of questions, but this answer was straight to the point. In essence, He says, “Stop worrying. Quit being upset. Just come into My presence. Just spend time with Me. I’ll give you peace and rest from your burdens.” But, Martha, like so many of us, had gotten “distracted by all the preparations.” We can’t fault Martha. After all, she was the one who invited Jesus into her home in the first place. She had opened her life up to Him— she just “missed it.” And Jesus sees us “missing it.” Jesus is helping us keep things in perspective. The things of this life that cause us so much worry and confusion suddenly become irrelevant when we’re in the presence of the Lord. You see, what Martha was doing was “essential” . . . what Mary was doing was “eternal.” That time Mary would spend with Jesus could never be taken from her. Martha’s efforts would be consumed and forgotten within hours.
Jesus wasn’t scolding Martha and He isn’t scolding us over this issue . . . He’s simply saying, “I don’t need you to do anything for Me, but simply let Me be here for you.” He’s saying, “Only one thing matters . . . and that’s being here, at My feet, in My presence.” The message is loud and clear. We can’t allow ourselves to be weighed down and distracted by many things.
If you’re finding yourself stressed out; if you’re finding yourself angry with others for not doing their share; when you wake up in the middle of the night to despair about whether “things” will ever get done . . . don’t continue to neglect yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Stop and sit in the presence of God. Take a moment to re-examine why you’re doing what you’re doing. Remember that there is simplicity in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Ask yourself if you’re spending your time on the things that will last? . . . the things that “cannot be taken away from you?” If you’re consumed with serving the Lord . . . don’t forget who it is you’re serving. Keep your eyes on Him. Keep Him first in all that you do. It doesn’t matter to Jesus if you prepare a seven course meal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What matters to Him is that you take the time to simply enjoy His presence. When daily life is frantic and out of control, when worry consumes you and you’re struggling just to make it through, Jesus says, “There’s only one thing that matters . . . and I’m right here in front of you.”
Posted by Cherie Hill at 1:00 PM
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