“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’” Luke 10:40 (NIV)
Maybe it’s because apparently we both like to cook, but whenever I read today’s key verse, I secretly want to stick up for Martha. I mean, that was a lot of people in their house. Everyone was bound to get hungry some time. And parties for 50 don’t set themselves, even when Jesus is around.
But lately, I’ve realized why I truly admire Martha.
Even in her frustration, she got it right. Did you notice what she did not do when she became disappointed with her sister? Based on what we see in Luke 10, she didn’t spend the rest of the day pouting, forcing everyone around her to guess why she was in such a bad mood.
She didn’t suffer through the day and then call and complain to another friend about how “no one ever appreciates her.” And, she didn’t pull Mary aside and throw a temper tantrum as soon as the door closed on the last guest.
Sad to say, I’ve done all of the above.
Instead, she takes her frustration directly to Jesus. Remember, she could have stifled her feelings with that old Jesus-must-have-better-things-to-do-than-listen-to-me-whine excuse. How many times have I said to myself, “Look, believers all over the world are dying for the faith. How can I really expect Jesus to care that I feel slighted because my family didn’t fawn all over my dessert?”
Instead, Martha has enough confidence and faith in her Lord to interrupt the Bible study. She trusts Jesus won’t dismiss or embarrass her. Whatever insult she feels at the time, her faith is strong enough to bring the hurt to Jesus.
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’” (Luke 10:40)
As always, Jesus does not disappoint. He stops the entire meeting to say the very words that heal Martha's heart. He doesn’t shame her for interrupting or make her feel small because her need isn’t as big as saving a dying child or healing a crippling, lifelong disease.
Instead, He agrees with her.
Yes, she’s worried and distracted about many things. But He reminds her only one thing is needed now. Focus on what’s most important, and the other worries will fall into perspective. Even her seemingly tiny problem is enough for Jesus to care about.
While most of us read this passage and remind ourselves to be more like Mary, Martha is still my hero. I’ll never be as naturally in the moment and easy-going as Mary; I’m not sure I was created to be. My temperament is too focused, too driven. But … I can be a Martha who knows when to put down the schedule and the to-do list and simply ask Jesus for help.
Lord, some days, the rocks that weigh me down aren’t big heartbreaks, but too many pebbles of disappointment and distraction. I’m afraid to bring them to You because they feel so insignificant. But Your Word tells me to call on You whenever I’m weak and heavy-burdened, no matter the reason. So today, I ask for the courage to bring all my frustrations to You, big and small. I trust that You love me enough to take all my worries seriously and heal my heart. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)
Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
What are some burdens that feel too small to take to Jesus right now? How can you make a habit of praying over all your frustrations?
Martha didn’t mind interrupting a group or her work to talk to Jesus. What can you do to start praying to Jesus whenever you need, no matter what’s going on?
How does today’s devotion resonate with you? Are you more of a Mary or a Martha? Join the conversation — we’d love to hear from you!
© 2019 by Denyse Blasdel. All rights reserved.