What is it about the end of the year that seems to bring the best or the worst out of us? I often find myself scrambling to cross out things to do all the way up to Christmas and then crash for many days after.
I know I am not alone. I have walked with many just like me. Sure, there are some that have it all under control. But, really, most of us struggle to find that balance of serving with Martha and sitting with Mary.
Can we really fault ourselves? The world we live in has the words fast and instant stamped all over it. We are forced to do, do, do and get, get, get. It makes you anxious to blink for you might just miss your chance!
Finalize the holiday plans – checked!
Book the hotel – checked!
Get the presents – checked!
Five course meal prep – checked!
Stuff the stockings – checked!
Eat lots of chocolate – checked, checked and checked!
Martha, did you feel the same way?
After all, you did have Jesus visit your house. Yes, the Son of God. The one you called Messiah (John chapter 11, verse 27).
I would have been the same. Running about to prepare only the best for the one I love most.
I do it all the time. And it’s not even the Messiah that is visiting.
It is the life of being a wife and a mum. Often it feels like servanthood lives in the shadows of cooking and cleaning.
I am a modern day Martha. Unfortunately, it is way too frequently that I find myself “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” (Luke chapter 10, verse 40). Too many things to do. Too little time.
So, yes! I would have been the very irritated Martha asking Jesus to ask my sister to help me (Luke chapter 10, verse 40).
But then Jesus speaks.
Just as He called Martha by her name, He tenderly calls mine too.
He silences my worries.
The more I choose to listen, all that I have been upset about evaporates at the sound of His voice.
And with just a few words..
I want to sit with Mary.
My heart desires to do the one thing that is needed. To sit in His presence and soak in His love. To listen to His incomparable wisdom and to learn. To rest and be refreshed.
When we do, all the pieces of the puzzle seems to fit together.
It is understanding that we cannot pour from empty cups. We can only run on empty for so long before finding ourselves suffocating from burn out.
It is allowing ourselves to be filled in His presence. It is learning that the best work done in love is an overflow of the quiet strength imparted when we are weak before Him.
Jesus has taught me “what is better” (Luke chapter 10, verse 42).
When I fought to release myself of the insidious tentacles of anxiety, it was Jesus that patiently peeled off each strangle.
All those times when mundane routines drained me out, I found rest for my weary soul in His embrace.
Even when things were going well, there was always a God sized void that could only be filled by Him.
“What is better” often requires effort and intentionality. Oh, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is indeed weak (Matthew chapter 26, verse 41). Preconceived notions set by the everchanging standards of the world can be a stronghold. Choosing “what is better” calls for us to make a conscious decision to let go of what seems right in our minds.
We need to purposefully listen for that still, small voice that quiets the roar of the wind, silences the rumbling of an earthquake and quenches the flames of a blazing fire (1 Kings chapter 19, verses 11 and 12).
This Christmas and in the coming New Year, I want to find all that “is better” and all that “will not be taken away” (Luke chapter 10, verse 42) in that restful, refreshing spot.
At the feet of Jesus.
Mussita Ng is a follower of Jesus Christ from Wellington, New Zealand. Her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mussita-ng.html