Hi, I’m Alaina Anderson, and I’m a recovering Martha.
Last week at the Porch, JP talked about Jesus, Mary, and Martha. The story contrasted two sisters. Martha, the first sister, was distracted, worried and upset about many things, and busy with the preparations of serving. Mary, on the other hand, was the free spirit type who knew what was important in life – sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to Him. Unfortunately, out of the two girls, my default is to be more like Martha.
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to get distracted by the tasks of the day. Our daily activities may consist of things that aren’t necessarily bad, or that might even be great, like serving people and caring for them. Working in ministry at The Porch, I can easily justify why my work responsibilities are important. However, I can never let what’s good distract me from what’s MOST important – spending time with Jesus.
In the Scriptures, Jesus himself said that out of the two sisters’ behavior, Mary chose what was better. There’s something about Mary that I need to constantly remind myself of – she prioritized spending time with Jesus above all else. To be more like Mary in that way, I have to remind myself of a few truths every day…
In my Martha-like mindset, I can get so caught up in doing good things that I forget that I can’t earn God’s love, even if I wanted to. His love and salvation is a free gift! Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” I can rest knowing that everything I do is out of an overflow of God’s love for me, not because I have to earn it.
Another verse I remind myself of is John 15:9: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” God’s love is perfect, and Jesus says that He loves me the way that the Father loves Him. I need to constantly remind myself of His perfect love for me and remain in that love in the middle of my daily tasks.
Have you ever been in these scenarios? You woke up late because your alarm didn’t go off – you accidentally set it to PM instead of AM. You feel really prepared for a test but when you sit down to take it you realize you studied all the wrong things and you’re about to bomb it. You are heartbroken over a guy but think that it was probably your fault anyway, since you should have paid attention to all the red flags. Sound familiar? Yeah, me neither (except unfortunately they do). In those moments you may start to think, does God even care about all this stuff? I know He cares about the “big things” in life like family members getting saved, solving world hunger, and the Middle East, but does he really care about the “little things”? The answer is YES, He does. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” Notice it says ALL your anxiety, not just the “big stuff”. How great is it to know that the God who numbered the hairs on your head pays attention to you at all times, He cares for you and wants to carry your burdens, and He is there for you anytime you need him?
While I’m hustling around, feeling like a boss, this is the verse that brings me back to reality:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Apart from God, I can do nothing. Even as I write this blog, I’ve stopped and prayed multiple times because I felt the truth of that verse. I can’t write this on my own, I need my Father to help me. I don’t have the words to say to someone going through a crisis, but the Holy Spirit does. I don’t have the wisdom to make hard choices in life, but I have the Word of God to inform my decisions. Everything I do, I want it to be for the glory of God and to acknowledge that it’s in His strength and not my own.
The story of Mary and Martha is a great reminder of what is most important in life – knowing God, learning about Him by reading His Word, and connecting with Him in prayer. Martha had Jesus in the other room and she was distracted by other things instead of spending time with Him. That seems silly, but we do the same thing. How cool is it that we can spend time with the Creator of the heavens of the earth whenever we want? I’m a recovering Martha. My hope is that the more I remind myself of these truths, the more I let go of my to-do lists and let the love of God consume my life. There really is something special about Mary – she constantly lived in the mindset of Jesus over everything, and so should we.