It is always intriguing to me how God shows me myself through His Word. Oftentimes, when I read an account of someone’s life, a parable, or ANY verse in Proverbs – I see myself – not in the heroine – but in the counterpart opposite. Take the account of Mary and Martha.
Jesus and his posse were coming to dinner! How exciting! How nerve-racking! How fun! Martha loved Jesus and wanted everything to be perfect for Him. She saw the enormity of the task and she jumped right into service for Him. The busy-ness and opportunity to create an event thrilled her! She got to make lists with her favorite pen, plan, decorate, facilitate. She found herself at the helm and secretly loved being the “go-to-gal” with all the answers. Making decisions and bossing others suited her perfectly – it was her “gifting.” Multi-tasking was her middle name – her motto: “Get-er-done…” Check. Check. Check.
Except for that LAZY sister of hers – where was she anyway? Well, we know, don’t we? Hanging out at the feet of Jesus – avoiding the work that needed to be done. Hmmph! Using the manipulative skill of a true martyr – Martha felt it her duty to inform Jesus of her personal sacrifice and point out the failure of her sister’s priority. I mean, surely Jesus was aware of who was slaving away in the kitchen, for HIM, serving with every breath and every step she took…
I’m pretty sure His response to her tattle-tales was a bit of a shock to poor, poor Martha…you see Jesus understood something Martha did not. Jesus understood Martha, Mary, all of us – His created beings. And what He understands about us is what we need MOST. We need HIM. Oh yes, He sees the task – He sees the details…for Heaven’s sake He is the God of the seen and unseen! God is very detail oriented – just look at all of creation! But He also understands ORDER. First things, first. Always. We can do nothing without Him. Period.
Jesus (gently – with so much more grace than she showed Mary) chided Martha NOT for serving, but for WORRYING and putting the task BEFORE the relationship. He complimented Mary because she put HIM first. She valued His attention, His word, His authority, HIM as a Person. You see, even Jesus cares MORE about being cared about than He cares about how well we (I) perform a task.
Who am I in this account? I would love to be Mary – but alas I am Martha. Maybe, not so much in action as in attitude. I do work pretty hard, though – and when I get so, so, tired I have also found myself getting easily annoyed, irritated, frustrated (where oh where are my car keys???), envious, and critical…ARRGGHH!
Alas, once again, I have to remind myself that renewal, restoration, reprieve, revitalization – are found only at the feet of my REDEEMER! He will meet with me at a moment’s notice. No appointment necessary. Walk-ins welcome.
I will make my endless list of things to do…and then I will go sit a the feet of my Savior…OH PSHWAH!! I will go sit at the feet of my Savior and leave the list for later!!!
Breathe, my sister, breathe in Him…
* Originally Published 2/16/2015