Read Luke 10:38-42.
Most of us have heard this story before, but we can often glance over the incredible message it shows. Have you ever had people coming over to your house and had to prepare? Or maybe you can remember your mother hurrying around to get everything ready because “company’s coming.” It can turn into a stressful situation very quickly, as I’m sure we all know well. This is what happened to Martha.
Something that is interesting to note is that it was Martha who opened her home to Jesus. Sometimes I think Martha gets judged for not being the one to listen at Jesus’ feet, but she seems to be the one who opened up to Him in the first place. So Jesus comes to Martha’s house, and Martha’s sister Mary sat at His feet, listening to Him talk. There’s no telling the great words Mary probably heard, but they were definitely enough to keep her glued to her spot. But where was Martha?
She was running around working herself into a panic attack trying to get everything ready for Jesus, probably spending a good amount of time in the kitchen. There were things to do, foods to cook, stuff to clean, and not to mention the added pressure that Jesus was already there. His disciples were probably with Him, possibly more than just the Twelve. She was the hostess after all, and she had a job to do. She couldn’t just let everything go halfway; the Son of God was in her house!
Martha was probably close to a complete panic (internally at least) when she finally asked Jesus if He would tell Mary to help her out. She saw Mary just sitting there, not caring one way or the other if anything turned out presentably, and it probably frustrated her even more. Did she even care? Unlike Mary, Martha had gotten so distracted preparing for the Son of God, she never took the time to appreciate the fact He was there. She was so busy rushing around that she didn’t even notice there was no need for it.
Jesus spoke to Martha. He said her name twice. He acknowledged that she was upset and worried about many things, but He also told her only One was needed. Mary had seen which was better, and no one would take it away from her. I can imagine Jesus speaking to Martha in a comforting and calming way. She was already probably yelling at herself in her mind about all the things she had on her to do list, but He spoke to her and reminded her that none of that really mattered compared to Him.
How often is that us? How often do we get so caught up rushing and hurrying around (sometimes even doing Christian things) we forget to just see God? We are called not to worry but to seek God’s kingdom above all else (see Matthew 6:25 and 6:33). In our fast paced world, you would think all of our “time-saving” accomplishments would help us have more time to spend abiding in God’s presence. But we tend to simply accelerate our “needs” until they surpass even our ability to control. Frustration, worry, distraction—we pull ourselves into a lot of unnecessary struggles. But God is still there, and He is our peace.
When we come to God, surrendering our to-do lists, agendas, schedules, and worries to Him, He gives us a peace that we can’t begin to describe. We become like children who trust their father will make sure everything will be all right. No good father let’s his child worry about things that are his job to take care of, and God is no exception. God holds us in His everlasting arms and reminds us that He is in control. He is God.
Worrying instead of trusting God shows a lack of faith. Mary’s willingness to just abide is our example to follow. Even when things are out of our hands, they can never be out of God’s hands. Taking time everyday to be alone with God and simply know He is in control is a great weapon against worry, but it also helps us grow closer to our Father. Instead of seeing things as problems and obstacles, we begin to see they actually have a greater purpose in our lives because God planned for them to be there. We need to become more dependent on our heavenly Father, not more independent. Only then will we feel secure and at peace.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”–Matthew 6:34. It can be hard trusting and following God as you go about your day; you don’t need the unnecessary stress of worrying about things that aren’t in your control. God is in control, Hallelujah! And just like Mary, when we choose the right One, He will never be taken away from us.
Pray thanking God that He is our Father, He is good, and He is in control. Thank Him that His plan is better than anything we could ever come up with. Surrender any worries or stress you have to Him. Ask Him to help you trust He’s got this all in His hands and He will provide.