Luke 10:38-42 – Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." (ESV)
It's amazing how many times we can read through a part of the Bible, and then suddenly one day, it all makes sense. For me, it was reading through this part of Scripture and then reading it again in one of Samuel's children's books. Maybe it was the simplicity of the book; more likely it was the Spirit's nudging and moving; but in these few moments, my picture of who Jesus is and how deeply He desires a relationship with us became clearer, more focused, more real.
In Samuel's book, The Beginner's Bible, in the section "Jesus, Mary and Martha", it says this:
- Mary and Martha were friends with Jesus. One day, Jesus came over to visit. Mary stayed by Jesus. She was happy to just sit and listen to him. Mary listened to Jesus for a long time.
Martha was happy to see Jesus too. "But there is too much to do!" she cried. Martha worked and worked and worked. She cooked and she cleaned. And then she worked some more! "I am so busy working while Mary is doing nothing!" said Martha. Martha was hot and tired. "Jesus," Martha whined, "please tell Mary to help me!"
"Martha, Martha" said Jesus. "You should not be upset. Mary has chosen what is better. She is listening to me." (emphasis mine)
At that moment, when I closed the book and started to explain the meaning to Samuel, the Spirit was explaining it to me. I was telling him how much Jesus wants to talk with him, share with him, and be with him. And then the light bulb clicked on, the epiphany took place, and the Spirit whispered in my ear. "It's not about works, how hard you work or how much you do. It's all about Jesus, the person."
"Yes Lord, it's all about having a relationship with You, the only one who is the truth, the only one who is a person, not a thing, not an idea, not a set of principles." He really wants me to sit and be with Him. He wants to hear the questions, fears, and moments of excitement. He is love and a friend who cares for me, not just what I do or how hard I work.
This moment of sharing with Samuel wasn't really for me just to tell him another story. It was the Holy Spirit's way of speaking to my heart, mind, and soul. It was His way of saying, "Melinda, stop fretting about things like having an immaculate home, or getting the grocery shopping done, or responding to all those emails. You will do them and want to do them, but first, come and sit with me for a while. Come and fill up on the good portion. Have a cup of tea, sit down, rest, and share with me. Listen to what I'm telling you, tell me what's on your heart, and choose what will last for eternity."
It's not about the work with Christ. We cannot earn our way to heaven; we cannot work for His love, because with Jesus, it's all about His unending supply of grace — grace that was poured out on the cross so that we could come and sit with Him, sit and listen and find what we need.
Prayer: Holy and compassionate God, You are worthy of all our praise, for You died, carrying our burden on the cross, and then You rose, victorious over death, so that we could have the good portion. Thank You, God, that You don't give us what we deserve, but rather You give us what we need — attention, love, compassion, and forgiveness. Help us, Lord, to give You, daily, what You deserve — our praise, our time, and our hearts. Amen.