Sunday, August 14, 2011

Martha, Martha, Martha...

Twice this month the story of Mary and Martha was told at my church: once during Sunday’s sermon and another at a Ladies Night Out. Hm, I think God was trying to tell my church the ladies in my church some of us me something. Specifically, at our Ladies Night Out, we were given time to reflect on the passage more. As a natural planner, I can always relate to Martha. God struck me in a more personal way this time.

For those unfamiliar with the story, let me give you a quick recap, Sarah style. It starts when Martha opens her home to Jesus (we could do a whole blog on that right there but, I digress). A whole party gets started and Martha goes into full on party planning detail mode. I’m picturing some major market shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc. If she’s anything like me, she probably wrote a big long To Do list and got a ridiculous amount of satisfaction every time she got to cross one of the items off. Mary, her sister and party planning helper, is sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking in His words. Not so much into the whole party planning helper mode. When Martha (oh so tactfully) mentions to Jesus that, “wouldn’t it be cool if my sister helped me with all this party goodness instead of sitting here doing nothing?”, she gets a shocker of an answer: “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 away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42).

Oh. Snap.

Picture Martha’s face for a second. Eyes widened, eyebrows raised, and an expression that’s a mix of surprise, shame and confusion.

While I originally started thinking of my natural tendency to plan (and over plan), God took it a step further.

What if?

What if…instead of going party planning crazy, Martha also sat at the feet of Jesus, soaking in His words? Her to-do list wouldn’t get done.  The house would be dirty. Food wouldn’t be bought much less cooked. People wouldn’t get invited. Or, people would show up and nothing would be ready. There was just So. Much. To. Do.


Think of what Jesus COULD have done. Think of the miracles that COULD have been performed.

“What? The food isn’t ready? No biggie, I do this thing with bread and fish. You’ll have leftovers for weeks. What? We ran out of wine? No problem. Got any water? Check this out...”

I mean, think of the possibilities. Think of how God’s glory COULD have been shown that day. And, going further, think of how God’s glory could be shown in my life every day that I stifle with my plans and my To Do list.

That hit me hard.

These past few months have been planner months for me. My To Do list is still monstrous. I’ve been getting everything together to start support raising again. And planning planning planning.

You know the funny thing? God has seriously been doing miracles left and right. I’ve literally been shocked at how He’s working. The funny part? All those miracles have had NOTHING to do with any of the planning I’ve done. Nothing. At all. It’s like God’s been repeatedly saying: “This is my deal. I got this. Yeah, there’s a lot of money that needs to be raised but…I got this. I’m going to work in people’s lives. And, you know, I own some cattle…on a few hills…”.  

As some icing on that cake, I’ve been listening to the song “Restless” by Audrey Assad on repeat. I’ll close with the lyrics, which is also my prayer:

You dwell in the songs that we are singing
Rising to the Heavens
Rising to Your heart
Our praises filling up the spaces
In between our frailty and everything You are
You are the keeper of my heart

And I'm restless

I’m restless
'Til I rest in You
(Oh God I wanna rest in You)

Oh speak now for my soul is listening

Say that You have saved me
Whisper in the dark
'Cause I know You’re more than my salvation

Without You I am hopeless

Tell me who You are
You are the keeper of my heart

Still my heart

Hold me close
Let me hear a still small voice
Let it grow
Let it rise
Into a shout
Into a cry

I am restless until I rest in You

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