We’re constantly bombarded with them everyday. They call for our attention and demand our time. Yet, the truth is every time we say “yes” to a need, we say “no” to a greater needed; that which is within our soul.
We’ve gotten used to being pulled in so many directions that to actually stop and sit would feel…wasteful. Our “to-do” lists would only grow longer and our time shorter. We think we have it all under control. The truth is we’re the ones being controlled and don’t understanding why people aren’t running on our timetables…especially God.
I think that’s why out of all the women in the Bible, I have the softest spot for Martha. In a previous post, I wrote about Leah‘s love for Jacob – a love that was unrequited by man but satisfied by God. This post is for those of us who tend to doubt God’s love more than we trust it.
Who work for it rather than receive it.
Who try to take charge rather than surrender.
A Welcoming Heart
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house (Luke 38).
Do you remember when you welcomed Jesus into your heart? This newly beloved guest promised to take up residence – to abide and make His home there. It was glorious and wonderful and new. I remember feeling that glow of freedom and feeling loved. But time passed and it becomes old-hat. That newness becomes taken for granted and soon you’re trying to find love through more tangible means.
When I imagine Martha, I see her as the oldest of the three siblings. She grew up helping her mother care for the household and since her mother is never mentioned in the gospel accounts, she must have took over the household when her mother died. It was her job to make sure everything ran smoothly especially when guests came to visit. Martha had a special gift for hospitality and I think that’s why Jesus loved to visit.
Have you met someone with that unique gift? You enter their house and they make you feel like the most special person in the world. They anticipate all of your needs before you can even ask while simultaneously feeling like they’re hanging on your every word. Jesus felt welcomed and how He must have looked forward to His visits after so many places were so quick to throw Him out. In that house, with that family, He felt right at home.
A Distracted Heart
And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving…(Luke 10:39-40)
If ever there was a case for sibling rivalry, this would be it. Have you ever found yourself feeling like a Martha and comparing yourself to other sisters in Christ who are more like Mary? (raises my hand). You are active in your church and have been called a servant more times than you can count. I firmly believe there is a need for both Marthas and Marys. But sometimes it feels like deep inside, those acts of service aren’t good enough. Maybe because of past experiences, you feel like you have something to prove. We become distracted with all the obligations we’ve said “yes” to that we stop being hospitable to the Holy Spirit. We stop taking the time to sit at His feet and receive the love He wants to pour out on us.
The list below may be some of the things in your life that demand your attention and time,
Personal Aspirations & Goals
Where does God fit into all of it? Has He slowly moved down the totem pole of your priorities until He’s a remembered with a groggy prayer goodnight before you go to bed?
Distractions can leave us open to the lies of the enemy and prevent us from coming back to the Word that speaks truth into our hurting hearts.
A Doubting Heart
…and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40)
Don’t You care, God?
Be honest…how many times have you asked this question of Him?
Don’t You care about my loneliness? (Why am I still single?)
Don’t You care about my sickness? (Why am I not healed?)
Don’t You care about my finances? (Why am I still struggling and without a job?)
Our doubt can easily turn to accusations. We accuse God of not caring, of not loving us as we think He should love us. We make demands of Him expecting that He will grant it to us without question.
Jesus did not turn a blind eye to all that Martha was doing for Him. He doesn’t do that to you either.
Jesus sees the time you spend in your ministry(ministries). He sees you sowing into His kingdom and the cost you’ve paid.
Your Beloved knows the desires of your heart for a spouse and His delay is not a denial.
Our Redeemer feels your pain as you go through your sickness or as you see a loved one deteriorating before your eyes, feeling helpless to stop it yet wondering when it will end.
Our Provider sees you faithfully paying your tithes even when you’re struggling to make ends meet and your bills are going into collection much like the widow and her two mites.
An Offered Solution
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41-42).
Jesus sees all of our worries and troubles. And with compassion, He offers us Marthas a solution. Choose the better part.
Choose to sit at His feet.
Listen to His voice.
Rest in His love.
You aren’t worthy of love because of what you do. You’re loved because of who you are and who you belong to. When you’re feeling overlooked; when you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember…
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. (John 11:5)
Jesus loves you too and it’s a love worth welcoming again with open arms.
I’d love to know – How do you make Jesus a priority in your life?