“Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Whenever we plan an event at our house my default is “worried and bothered.” On these occasions I can identify with Martha, although, on an ordinary day I am right there with Mary at Jesus’ feet as the dishes pile up in the sink. But, like Martha, I too struggle with feeling overwhelmed, abandoned and unloved! I too accuse God of not caring and tell Him what to do! However, the reality of Jesus’ love for Martha, as well as for you and me, is that it is endless and unconditional. He wants us to sit at His feet and trust Him for everything because He really does care for you and for me. This is demonstrated in His words, “Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” He’s not excluding or rejecting Martha but inviting her to join them!
Similarly, in Exodus 16 (the first account of God providing manna and quail for the Israelites in the desert) the Israelites also complained and told God what to do. Even after witnessing God’s gracious provision they still didn’t believe Him. Some even decided to do it their own way, gathering more manna than they needed for the day, and it “bred worms and became foul.” Instead of trusting that God cared enough to provide for them the next day they lived by sight and ended up with rot. So too, when I refuse to live by faith the worms of fear and discontent are apparent.
Even now as I sit here writing I am distracted by the reality of selling our home. I want to know what tomorrow brings instead of trusting that God cares for me and resting in His plan. Simply put, it is unbelief for the here and now. In the same way a puppy automatically starts paddling when held over water (even though it’s being held securely) all of us tend to panic and start “paddling” when circumstances are out of our control. In short, we fail to trust that God will keep holding on and tend to anticipate the worst when we choose to believe lies. Can you hear the enemy whispering, “God doesn’t really care for you,” even though His Word says He does?
So, how do you and I live by faith and not by sight? We choose to believe God, taking Him at His WORD and purpose to reject the lies. Yes, living in the unseen reality means we need to fill our minds with God’s truth and believe Him even if it doesn’t make sense and especially when it goes against our natural inclinations. That is called faith. As Martha focused on her circumstances she became worried and overwhelmed just like we do. However, Jesus invited her into the unseen reality of a free spiritual life in Christ which is void of “have to’s” and full of “get to’s.” We have the privilege of sitting at Jesus’ feet when we don’t have time and He miraculously stretches the minutes. We get to tithe when it doesn’t make sense and He miraculously stretches the dollar. We are free to drink His living water and He miraculously bears fruit in our lives. His burden is light because He is outside of time and circumstance. God tells us to “take My yoke upon you and I will give you rest.” When I resist this I identify with Martha, the Israelites and also with Peter who heard God say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Matthew 17:5b