He said to them, “You come apart into a deserted place, and rest awhile.” For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.Mark 6:31 WEB
Doesn’t that sound like our modern world? So much calls for our time and attention. Work, family, church, school, and activities. And then if we add the social media, emails, and all the rest…
It’s no wonder we often feel soul weary, burdened, and joyless! For like Martha, we miss out on the best things for that those that are merely good. (Or sometimes not even truly good.) And like her, fret in a joyless fume!
Jesus answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.Luke 10:41-42 WEB
Have you like Martha, been missing what’s really important?
- Do you feel you don’t know God’s Word as well as you should?
- Do you feel you’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in getting to know him?
- Do you feel dry and parched on the inside?
- That too often you fail to heed his gentle call to get with him in a quiet place?
Christ called his disciples to himself, he didn’t send them off alone. For it is only in his presence and learning from him that we find true rest for our souls. Come away WITH ME he’s saying. Like Mary, sit at my feet and learn of me.
How we miss the best for what is merely good.
1. We think Bible study and prayer are too hard.
And they are hard. They take discipline, dedication, and determination. Just like going to work everyday or cleaning our house. Good and excellent things we choose to do because we want to reap the benefits.
So let’s keep our eyes on the benefits of prayer and Bible study. Sure they’re work – but so worth the effort. And the only way to really start growing in our walk.
2. We’re afraid of failing – again.
We’ve tried over and over to be regular in prayer, Bible reading and study – only to keep failing. So we give up. We read the daily calendar verse while eating breakfast, and say a quick prayer while driving to work. Both good things to do. But not enough if we really want to grow.
First, remember that you are not alone in your failure. David failed in his walk with God. And so did Moses and Peter. But the Lord didn’t let them give up. And he’s right there with you too – wanting you to succeed. So keep trying!
3. We lack discipline.
What it often boils down is that there are so many other things we’d rather do with our limited time. And so we choose those often truly good things, thinking to read and pray later. Until little by little time runs out. And we find ourselves with another day gone by with no (or little) prayer or reading.
Isn’t that what Martha was doing? Cooking and cleaning, fussing to make everything just so. She had chosen GOOD things. Preparing a nice meal, caring for her family, and tending to her guests. But she was missing out on the BEST.
Let’s heed Christ’s call to get away with him.
In this noisy society constantly clamoring for our time and attention, let’s push it all to the side. Delay the instant messages, turn off the push notifications, and ignore the likes, shares, and comments for awhile. To answer that one most important call – to know him through his word and in prayer.
And THEN we can get up and serve, but from a place of strength and rest.
We live among burdened, troubled people longing for rest. And they need us to serve them. But if we serve without first spending time with the Lord, we risk being nervous, fretful, and critical like Martha.