Thursday, July 30, 2009
MARY Vs. MARTHA--REVISITED
Isn't it amazing how much can be wrapped up in a single scripture verse? Take the following, for instance:
"If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised." 1 Peter 4:11
Thinking more about Mary and Martha this week, (and how I tend to be such a "Martha personality") I couldn't help but wonder: Had Martha been serving with the strength God provided, would the Lord still have given her that gentle, earnest rebuke? I doubt there would have been any need to. Martha would not have opened herself to it.
When she went to Christ with her complaint, she was not seeking His strength. She was seeking, instead, to get Mary off her lazy tush so that she could bustle about and lighten Martha's load. Her eyes were on MARY and what she perceived as laziness; If she had been at all spiritually minded just then, she might have stopped to consider that mary was engaged in an important activity: She was actively listening to the Lord of Creation!
You could argue that maybe Martha didn't fully realize who Christ was; But she called him "Lord."
She tells him after her brother died that if He had only been there, he could have prevented the death. So she knows He is God.
Martha's problem, on that fateful day when her personal complaint was recorded for all of history, was that she wasn't thinking spritually--about God's provision--but only of herself.
Oh! As a mom in a household of seven people, I am often a Martha.
I look at my family and think, "Why aren't they doing more?"
If they were sitting at the feet of Jesus (or even reading their Bibles or praying) I could
handle it with peace, I think. But when they are watching TV or playing computer games, or reading, I believe I am correct in making them get moving to do their share.
Nevertheless, it sometimes feels like a tightrope walk: trying to remain conscious of the resources God gives me to be a mom and 'domestic engineer.' Or to discern whether I am falling into total self-reliance, forgetting to serve in God's strength. And what about the days when I look around and think, "Well, I don't have the strength to do all that needs to be done, so I guess it just won't get done," instead of seeking HIS strength.
Finding the balance of where I begin and end, and where God's help comes in, is not always immediately possible. For me, that is.
How do you do it? Will you share a story or incident, or your own take on this? I'd love to hear it!
PS: The text size refuses to behave and stay small. Does anyone else have this problem with Blogger?
photo from Fotosearch