"Martha, Martha," The Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her. " - Luke 10:41 NIV
I have a confession to make, this story has always made me angry. For those of us who relate to being Martha's of the world, it can be hard to think about sitting down and taking a load off like Mary when there is so much to do. With the busy season of fall upon us, I am sure that I am not the only mom who is feeling tired, worn down, and anxious. Maybe you as a mother can relate to the never-ending parade of meals to make, kids to shuttle, and pumpkins to carve. Maybe, as an empty nester, you are busy with work or with your children who are coming home to visit from college. Maybe you yourself are a young adult who is running through the world at full speed, the words work-life balance only being mentioned to you as a joke.
Though many of us have heard this verse and the accompanying story in Luke, today I want to dig into some truths that we can take away that might be fresh or new. And if you are struggling to find time to read this between naps, feedings, or just the chaos of the day, I promise to make these devotionals always short and always packed with God's truth.
He Rebukes Her Gently
The first thing that sticks out to me in this verse, is that the Lord says Martha's name twice. This is not to be overlooked. The Lord is not yelling at Martha or saying something to her in sharp tones. Instead, I like to think that Jesus is standing up, walking over to Martha who is probably covered in grease and flour from trying to cook up a meal for Jesus and the disciples, and let's be honest, probably a fair amount of sweat, and taking her hands. He looks right into her eyes and our eyes and says our names gently but firmly. "Martha, Martha."
The Lord is not angry at us when we forget to acknowledge Him in the midst of our busyness, He is patient. Waiting for us to look up from our phones, our work, the cooking or laundry, and see Him standing right there ready and waiting to help us with all that is going on around us.
He Acknowledges How She is Feeling
God doesn't admonish Martha for feeling the way that she feels, instead, he speaks those feelings into life. How often do we hide from our feelings or stuff them in a box? But Jesus does a wise thing by speaking life to her emotions. Sometimes in the midst of our tiredness and busyness, we might not be able to put words to how we are feeling. But God always knows and can relate to exactly how we are feeling. Don't shy away from being vulnerable and open with Him.
He Points Her in a New Direction
After he has spoken softly to her and helped her name her emotions, He also points her in the direction that is right. And that direction is right back into the Father's arms. When we feel overwhelmed by the chaos of life going on around us, we think that the way to feel better or more in tune is much more complicated than it is. The answer is simply to turn and run to Jesus. To let Him take on our fears, our anxieties, our busyness, and to bear the weight of the burden we have been trying unsuccessfully to carry for so long.
Today, I want to encourage all of you no matter where you find yourself in life, to take a deep breath, let it out in a big hard gasp, and open the palms of your hands to the one who can truly bear it all. Give your worries, anxieties, and fears to the Lord. Give Him your busyness and fear of not completing it all or looking like a bad mom. Give Him your comparison, insecurities, and everything you have. The Bible doesn’t promise to not give us more than we can handle, but it does promise us that the One who created all things and lives in us will walk along this journey with us always. Take comfort in those simple words and the story of Mary and Martha today.