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.’
Friend to Friend
I had a list of things to get done. Yes, my back was killing me. I was tired, but that list kept me hurrying around the house like the proverbial Energizer Bunny. 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 is your back?” Dan persisted. With growing irritation, I answered, “It hurts!” Dan watched me for a few minutes and then calmly stated, “You don’t know how to sit down, do you?” 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 and sit down – and rest. 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 and the stress that struggle creates. When we refuse to balance the demands of work, home, family, friends, and personal growth, stress happens. 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.
A balanced life is focused on right things. Focus is always found at the feet of Jesus. Mary lived out this truth. In fact, Mary, more than any other person in the New Testament, is associated with sitting at the feet of Jesus.
To sit at the feet of Jesus demands action on our part. First, we must stop. I know – a novel idea for most of us. Mary stopped what she was doing – helping Martha in the kitchen – and came to sit at the feet of Jesus. Of course, Martha immediately began complaining that she had been left to do all the work while her sister wasted time sitting at Jesus’ feet. I’ve learned that 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.”
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, which means time at His feet – in His presence. Jesus gently rebuked Martha because she had forgotten what was most important.
It is amazing to me how 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 that my life is void of power and purpose. Distractions come from every side. Some of those distractions are good and wonderful things, but they are still wrong things if they keep us from stopping to spend time with God. We make daily choices about where we invest our time as we head to work, run errands, plan meals, deal with children, clean house, and do laundry – but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God.
I absolutely hate to wait and tend to view waiting as a thief that robs me of control and forces me to face the unknown. Waiting is not a passive loss of time. Waiting is active spiritual obedience. In each waiting room of life, God is at work preparing me for the circumstances ahead.
Psalm 5:3 (NLT) “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”
Are you desperate for the peace and a balance only God can provide? Then it’s time to stop, take inventory of the demands upon your time, and begin investing the best part of your day sitting at His feet. 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 am really tired of trying to prove my worth by what I do. I am tired of being responsible for everyone’s happiness – a burden You never intended me to carry. I want to let go of everything except the things You have for me to do. Help me learn to see my worth in Your eyes alone. Give me the strength to stop and rest in You. Thank You for loving me, Father. Please help me to live a life that reflects that love.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read and memorize Psalm 23:1-3.
List two ways you can apply these verses to your life in the area of sitting at the feet of Jesus.
More from the Girlfriends
If we want to live the life God created us to live, we must bring every area under His influence and control. Mary’s E-Book, Fit for Life, will help you learn to truly sit at His feet. Check it out!