Mary and Martha are two of my favorite women in the bible. (Are we allowed to have favorites?) Like you, I am sure you relate to Mary’s love for time spent in God’s presence and her vulnerability to weep at His feet during hard times. While you also carry the intentionality of Martha at times, being worried about many things. After all, everything has a time and a place! Throughout scripture, we are brought to the examples of these two women and even their brother Lazarus. They are known by Jesus as His beloved friends.
After a time of prayer this morning, I sipped on my lukewarm coffee and began the journey with the Holy Spirit to the example of Mary and Martha in Luke 10.
While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42 CSB
Once again, I was faced with a revealed truth of the heart of both Mary, Martha, and my own. We weren’t so different after all. There are many times that I come into the Lord’s presence without being fully present. There are dishes to do, a dog barking, the cat’s litter box needs to be changed, and when is that package coming in? Didn’t I make plans today? Where is my phone? Planner? Very quickly our heart filled with desire to meet with the one who loves us most is crowded with our to do list. Martha desired to please Jesus with a clean home and only the best food. This was the least she could do! After all, she welcomed Him in her home. However, Jesus was only after one thing. He was not after what was on the outside, but the posture of her heart.
We desire to be like Mary and forget about the to do list that never ends. So often, we end up thinking like Martha-more concerned on the less important. To Jesus, He simply loved that she invited her in. He was less concerned about the cobwebs in the corner and the never-ending crowd that chased Him. He was fully attentive to both Martha and Mary and He desired them to be the same. The truth is my friend, Jesus desires an attentive heart more than a spotless home and a checked off to do list. It is only through time spent in His presence that we can be fully satisfied.
Jesus pointed out that Martha was worried about many things. Those ‘many things’ He was not concerned about in comparison to the time that He desired to spend with Her. My friend, what area of your life is He calling you out from busyness to spend time with Him? Whatever area this is, do not feel guilty for laying it down. Time is one of the most beautiful gifts that God has given us to steward. While our heavenly Father gives us His full attention, we must be intentional about being present in His presence. The ‘many things’ of our life are not important in comparison to the time spent with Him and that is through His eyes. He desires to spend time with you. He desires you to learn more and more about His heart and even your own in the process.
Invite the Holy Spirit to lead your path, even if that means crossing off things of your to do list. I know for people like me who schedule by the hour, this can be very difficult. What I have come to find and experience is that when I put Him first, the rest is order. From the overflow of His presence, we are not given more time. What we are given is a better way to steward of the time that has been gifted.