Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3 NLT).
Friend to Friend
I had a list of things to get done – even though my back was killing me. When my husband walked in from work, I gave him a quick hug and resumed my almost frantic pace.
“What are you doing, honey?” Dan asked.
With one of my famous sighs, I responded, “I just need to get a few things done.”
“How’s your back?” Dan persisted.
With growing irritation, I answered, “It hurts!”
Dan quietly watched me for a few minutes. “You don’t know how to sit down, do you?” he finally said.
My first response was irritation – which quickly escalated into anger – until I heard the unmistakable prompting of the Holy Spirit affirming the truth Dan had spoken. I needed to learn how to stop, sit down – and rest.
“Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3 NLT).
But that list held me captive to unrealistic expectations in a ridiculous effort to prove my worth through what I did. It is an ongoing battle in my life. And I am not alone.
We all struggle with balance. What we really need is a holy balance only God can bring. The story of Mary and Martha, two very different women, offers valuable truths about balance that we can apply to our lives today.
Mary, more than any other person in the New Testament, is associated with sitting at the feet of Jesus. She demonstrated a right focus and balance in her life.
What does it mean to “sit at the feet of Jesus?”
First, we must stop. Mary stopped what she was doing – helping Martha in the kitchen – and came to sit at the feet of Jesus. Martha immediately began complaining that she had been left to do all the work while her sister wasted time sitting at Jesus’ feet.
There will always be someone who will misunderstand or complain when you choose to obey God and do what Jesus told Martha was “the better part.”
Luke 10:40-42 “But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so, she came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’‘’
Mary made a choice, and so must we.
Choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus requires decisive planning, purposeful scheduling, and a willful determination. God wants relationship building time with us every day. Like Martha, we forget the most important thing – time at the feet of Jesus.
I can squander away the best part of my day, leaving God with the leftover scraps of time, and then have the audacity to complain about the void of power and purpose in my life.
We make daily choices about where we invest our time as we run errands, plan meals, deal with children, and do laundry – but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God.
Waiting on God brings priorities into a right focus and releases the catalyst that may very well change my life course. Waiting is not passive. Waiting is active spiritual obedience. In each waiting room of life, God is at work preparing me for whatever lies ahead.
Are you desperate for the peace and a balance only God can provide?
Stop. Being wrapped up in God’s work can easily become a shabby substitute for being wrapped up in His presence, and we can only be wrapped up in God’s presence when we learn to sit at His feet and wait on Him.
Father, I’m tired of trying to prove my worth by what I do. I want to let go of everything except those things You have for me to do. Give me the strength to stop and rest in You. Help me live a life that reflects Your love.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What does it mean to you to sit at the feet of Jesus? If you made the decision to sit at His feet, what three changes would you have to make in your life? Write them down. Put them into action.
More from the Girlfriends
A chapter in my book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, has a section on how to find holy balance in life. Learning these truths help us learn how to avoid the pits of life. Check it out! It is on sale this month!
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© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
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Thank for reminding me to be more like Mary. I am Martha 10 times over. I pray for God to lead me to the things that I need to let go of and give me the strength to do it. I want to learn to sit at Jesus’s feet.
Blessings to all
Thank you for this devotional. It reminds me that God’s love for me is not based on my performance. All I have to do is receive. And when I don’t know what decision is right, I need to pause and ask for His direction. The answer always comes when I wait patiently for Him to guide me. God bless you.
Thank you for the message today. I need to wait patiently on the Lord’s direction. I am retired (@age 57) and I know God has a plan for me. I keep asking him to show me what my next steps are . Maybe my next steps are simply sitting at his feet and waiting for HIS path. I know he has a wonderful plan for me….I just need to be patient although some days I am bored and not try and take things into my own hands. I do need to take more time during my tasks free days to spend in his word. Thank you once again for the reminder in this message.
Mary, when I read this this morning Proverbs 31:10-31 popped into my mind. When I turned to read it the heading for this part of Proverbs 31 said:
“Description of a worthy woman”
Perhaps this is where we get the idea that we have to be doing things all the time! Proverbs 31:30 does say a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised, but nowhere in these 21 verses does it mention she takes time to “sit at the feet of Jesus” so to speak. Perhaps this is no excuse for not spending time in the word, but it can give us the idea that if we aren’t busy all the time we are falling down on our job. Seems like it’s easier for us to be “doing” than it is to be quiet spending time with Jesus
Thank you for this writing. Seems like a lot of us experience this, needing Spirit led direction. My Bible study group, just talked about this subject and I don’t want to be a “sleepy Christian”.
I’m going through a time similar to what Tami spoke about; so I am “journal-ing” with my Bible and prayer. I know, the first journalists where Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Those notes, their testimonies became the Gospels. So, as today’s disciples, shouldn’t we do the same?
We will be coming into the season of Lent. I pray we all receive the “light bulb” moment God has planned for us.
Oh Sheila,that is so what I need to learn … how to sit at the feet of Jesus! But I let distractions get in the way. Still on that path with you, friend.
Kim, thank you for your encouraging words. Trying to earn the favor and love of God is such an easy trap. For many years, it was what I tried to do … but never really succeeded. He has set me free from a lot of that but I still struggle with it from time to time. Praying we both learn how to step away from that mindset. Blessings!
Tami, I am such a plan maker. I want to know exactly what my plan is for the day, for vacation, for life. It has been and still is hard for me to let go and just trust God to make the plan that is best for me. God keeps reminding me that all I have to do is trust Him, the greatest Plan Maker in my life. Blessings!
Carol, I love the journaling aspect you mentioned. It does seem to bring God’s plan into a clear focus. Thank you for the reminder. Blessings!
Why I’m reading this today, 2/7/23 because I’ve been so busy that I’ve not taken the time to sit at Jesus feet. This has spoken to my spirit. I do not want to give Him my scraps and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Some days I get it right and some days I let the business of life get to me. Lord, help me not to forget that spending time with you is all I need. The other things are just things. Help me to make the most of my time. Help me to make You a priority in my life, Lord. I know when I do it would be time well spent and so beneficial for me.