And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Having new people over for dinner can be stressful. For some reason, that first time they come over I practically fall over myself trying to make everything perfect. As I’m cleaning I’m amazed at the dirt in my house that suddenly becomes visible to my eyes. Dust on the ceiling fans and fingerprints on the light switch covers scream at me when usually remaining silent. I dind myself wondering….”how long has it looked like that?”
I light candles to mask the odeur de canine attempting to replace it with something that smells more like cinnamon or sea breeze. My husband cooks. Not a normal meal that we would have like tacos or meatloaf, but something more splendid like Chicken Cordon Bleu. We go “all out” to offer our guests a delightful dining experience.
Okay, so we’ve all heard the story of Mary and Martha. Two sisters with two different personalities. In having two of my own children, I have seen the unpleasant places this can lead.
I’ve always kind of thought that Martha got a bad rap in this whole deal. I mean, she invited Jesus over for dinner! It wasn’t like it was just anybody. She wanted to bless His socks off!; Oh- wait, sandals…she wanted to bless his sandals off. I think if I were Martha, in the very midst of the busyness of dinner preparations, a quick glance yielding the realization that Mary had left her assigned duties and was now, instead, seated at the feet of our VIP guest I might would be a little perturbed too.
Martha looked for some help from the most influential person in the room. I can picture her, standing there, one hand on her hip and one in the air pleading her case, looking back and forth between Jesus and her sister. If anything like me, the more she talked the louder her voice became as the frustration within began to spill out in her emotion laden words indicating exactly what her problem was. Surely He would come to her defense, after all, it wasn’t that she didn’t want to spend time with Jesus…she was the one that had invited Him over to begin with!
Martha, I think, was more than surprised by the response she received. Jesus was quick to point out that her sister, which she thought was her problem, wasn’t her problem at all. He assured her instead that it was Martha that was Martha’s problem. When he called her out about being “worried and troubled about many things” I think they both knew that he was referring to more than what was cooking in the pot.
I know this Jesus. The one who, when I come to him with emotion and frustration resulting from issues regarding others and their behaviors He never fails to bring me right back to myself. Silence in abundance is the typical feedback I receive regarding others responsibilities, responses and reasoning. He is faithful to listen, allowing me to rant and rave as I must; however, at the completion of my pouring it all out before Him He always says the same thing…”okay, now, let’s talk about you.”
Before I have the chance to remind Him that we haven’t really talked about them, He begins to reveal to me the truth about my own responsibilities, responses and reasoning. At the conclusion of our time together I’m usually repenting for whatever the issue really is.
So I ask…what’s your problem? It may not be what you think. Spend time with Him to find out.
Father, thank you for being faithful to complete that good work you have begun in me.