Everyone has the tendency within to be either and to be both.
Today’s reading from the Turning Point Devotion brought them to mind.
Yes, one time Martha was concerned with getting the tasks done to feed the guests in her house above spending time with this special guest. (Luke 10) Yes, Mary chose the better response to take advantage of the time and sit at Jesus’ feet to learn and worship.
There is an example in their 2 choices. We have choices to make daily, weekly, monthly, throughout our whole LIFETIME. It is a part of life. Choices. Sometimes we make the best choice, sometimes the better choice and other times the wrong choice. None of us gets it 100% accurate every time with every choice that is put before us.
In the book of John (John 11:18-35) we read about another day when Martha’s faith came to the front above Mary’s. Their brother had died. Jesus was out of town. They had sent word to him of Lazarus’ illness. Most likely they had thought that Jesus would either heal Lazarus from afar, or come to them to heal him. He chose neither of those responses. When he did return to their city Lazarus was dead. What was the response of Martha and Mary? Who was it that went out to meet Jesus on his way? Was it Mary who sat at his feet at an earlier time? NO. It was Martha, the one scolded for not sitting at his feet at an earlier time. Then she was encumbered with the cares of the day. Now, there is a glimpse of her faith not seen then. For though she does seem to scold Jesus as she says, ‘If you had been here he would not have died’; she also does not stop there. ‘But even NOW I know that…’ Do you hear those words? BUT EVEN NOW I know… In the face of death Martha has faith that Jesus can still do something.
Rabbit trail: As I type that I am reminded of what I wrote in the front of my recent study book Uninvited, (by Lysa Terkeurst) as a personal take away thought: “I feel this…BUT I know this… live in the KNOW and not in the emotion. Live loved!”
Martha is choosing to live in the KNOW, not in the emotion.
Where is Mary? She stayed in the house when she heard of Jesus’ arrival. And when she did go out to meet with him what was her response? ‘If you had been here he would not have died.’ Same words as Martha’s. HOWEVER. Mary stopped there. At this time the roles are reversed. Mary chose to believe in the circumstance above what she knew about Jesus. She seems to be choosing to live in how she feels (emotion) rather than in what she knows. All she could see was that her brother Lazarus was dead and they were getting ready to bury him.
Martha chose to continue to believe in Jesus and what she knew about Him – even in light of seeing her brother was dead and they were getting ready to bury him.
Oh the difference a day makes, a circumstance makes. Everyone of us has a Martha and a Mary in us when confronted with each day’s events. And like them we have a choice to make. Will I worship at Jesus’ feet despite the circumstances facing me at this particular moment? Choose faith above sight. Or abandon faith because of sight. What circumstance are you facing today that requires this choice to be made?
Perhaps the reason these thoughts came to me as I read the devotion is because in the last 2 days – I have been both Martha and Mary. (I dare say though it has been true on numerous occasions through the years!)
One moment I am worshipping at Jesus’ feet & learning. In another I am sitting where I am rather than going out to meet him. Reality has stepped in unexpectedly and overshadowed my faith. – Like Mary.
One moment I am encumbered with the daily cares not taking a time to stop and worship; later I am confessing as Martha: ‘but even now I believe…’ Regardless of circumstances I believe – YOU.
Praise God – He loves me just the same! Whether being a Martha or a Mary! When I am basking in who He is, sitting at His feet worshipping and learning as well as when I am hit broadside by life and my faith is weakened- HE LOVES ME JUST the same.
Martha and Mary. Each had her strength of faith as well as her obstacles of faith to deal with. As do we. Father I believe, help thou my unbelief. And thank you for being the anchor of my soul regardless.
Until next time may the reality of who HE is overshadow the difficulties of life you may face at this time. May you LIVE LOVED!