Wednesday, October 19, 2022

words of encouragement on Wednesday

 




Happy Wednesday, friends! I am reading the Bible chronologically again this year, as most of you know, and I spent a good portion of yesterday morning playing catch up from the days I've missed. In doing that, I came across one of my favorite stories in Luke, one that resonates with me as a busy wife, mom, part-time employee, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, freelance writer and church volunteer. I think it will resonate with you too, so I hope these words offer some encouragement and a gentle reminder today. Here's the passage: it's Luke 10:38-42, in the New Living Translation. 


As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Marth welcomed Him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me." But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will be taken away from her." 


Every time I read this story, I feel Martha's frustration. I know the feeling that something has to get done in a certain amount of time and I'm the one who has to do it. Whether it's cleaning the house, grocery shopping, scheduling things, or something else, there's a certain amount of frustration that comes into play when we're feeling stressed or burned out. And don't we all feel that way from time to time? I don't know about you, but when I'm the busiest, the first thing to fly out the window is my quiet time. I've said before that the Lord isn't legalistic about our time with Him, but the more we spend time apart from Him, the further away He seems. There's actually a verse in James that talks about that—it says draw near to God and He will draw near to you. The Lord never moves away from us, for those of us who belong to Him, but we certainly distance ourselves from Him in our various ways. For me personally, ways I distance myself from Him might be in how I neglect a concentrated amount of time spent in prayer. I might miss too many days of not reading His word. I might miss a service or two in church. All of that isn't too bad when it's for a short time, maybe due to sickness or something else. I always encourage my sons to be careful in doing that, though. The more we miss, the easier it becomes to keep missing, whether it's church or quiet time.


That was essentially what Jesus was telling Martha as she complained about Mary. Mary realized what was more important and that's what she was focusing on, not on the other trivial and mundane things that bogged Martha down. I say that, but I feel like Martha kind of gets a bad rap in this story. All of us are either currently in those shoes now, or we have been in the past. There are things that we must focus on each day for our families that are important, and there is nothing wrong with that. Too much time and energy spent on that can become a bad thing, though. It becomes idolatry in our lives if we aren't careful, and there are many places in Scripture that warns about that. I love how gently He spoke to her: "My dear Martha...". He does that today for you and I, through His word. I know to so many people it seems like a book of nothing but do's and don'ts, but it's so much more than that. It's His instruction on how to live our life. He gently reminds us of what is important: loving Him and loving others, which is the greatest commandment. 


I shared all of this to encourage anyone who may need some encouragement in this area—don't neglect this area in your relationship with the Lord. It's okay to do that for a time, like when you're sick or something, but don't do that for too long. Don't skip too many days of praying and reading God's word. Don't skip church too many Sundays in a row. The more you skip, the easier it is to keep skipping, as I've already mentioned. The enemy is very real and thrives in that environment of distraction that we're all so prone to. I believe that we should be faithful and diligent in pursuing Him daily. Don't become so distracted that you're brushing off this relationship with the Lord. It's the most important relationship in the lives of believers. Maybe I needed to hear this today! Maybe someone else needed to hear it as well. I pray it encourages you. Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

9 comments:

  1. I can so relate to Martha, too. I read a devotional every morning, but I should go directly to the source and read the Bible. Great encouragement on a day I feel like I'm doing too much.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have a gift. Well spoken

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great encouragement to start the morning!! Thanks for sharing - and happy Wednesday to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can too, Amy! I think it's great that you read the devotional every morning. I like to do that sometimes too. I go back and forth in how I spend my quiet time, and thankfully there is no right or wrong way. One of my favorite resources ever is from a devotional someone gave me years ago for women on the subject of friendship. I love to pull it out every once in a while and I've given so many as gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We just came across this story again in our family reading a few nights ago and the girls and I really got talking about it. They say they see Mary and Martha in themselves... one is more like one and vice versa. I love the words you put down here. So wise and true, Jen. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's funny that you just read this same story, Bri! I think I can be a balance of the two...it depends on my circumstances at the present time. Right now I feel more like Martha! Thanks for always being such a sweet encourager, my friend. 🤎

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog!

Friday Favorites, 6.21.2024.

  Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with  Andrea  and  Erika  for today's favorite blog post of the week. How has your week been...