I’m a person that truly enjoys serving others; whether it’s in the church or with family and friends, my heart has a strong desire to reach out to those that I love and also to those that may not have anyone to help them.
As a Christian I was serving in 2 ministries in the church, attending a bible study, participating in compassion outreaches, and being a mother and a wife. I started to feel the effects of the busyness of my schedule and it really took a toll on both my mind and body. With all of life’s responsibilities it seems that the list of tasks far outweighs the time that we’re given to accomplish what is important. Yes, we are to serve the Lord but sometimes as we do this, we neglect just sitting in His presence and finding rest in Him.
Mary and Martha had the privilege of having Jesus in their home. There were a lot of things to prepare for on that special day and I’m sure both ladies were extremely excited. Although they felt the same anticipation, their priorities were very different.
Mary was completely focused on spending time with Jesus. Because she enjoyed His company they were able to have an intimate conversation with each other. I’m sure she basked in His presence and hung on His every word. She probably spoke to Him about things that she may not have shared with anyone else. They laughed and most likely being at His feet gave her an overwhelming amount of joy that must have brought tears to her eyes. She wasn’t preoccupied with the household chores or tending to other things. Yes, they did need to be completed but the most important part of that day was sitting in the presence of her Lord. Can you imagine how she must have felt as she looked into His eyes; as she heard His voice? She probably had a sense of peace that was incomparable to any other experience in her life.
Martha on the other hand wanted so much to please Jesus by serving him. He wasn’t just an ordinary guest, everything had to be impeccable. There had to be enough food and drinks in the house to accommodate such a wonderful visitor. The place settings had to be just right and the surroundings had to be flawless. She may have spent her day meticulously preparing the meal, cleaning the house, and making everything picture perfect for Jesus. Most likely Martha felt overwhelmed, frustrated and tired. She obviously felt a little burdened with the work because she asked Jesus to speak to Mary about her lack of assistance. I believe in Martha’s quest to make it a wonderful day, she hadn’t an ounce of peace nor did she posses any joy in her service to the Lord.
Martha concentrated on trying to make everything perfect for Jesus while Mary simply sat at His feet. Jesus I’m sure appreciated the hospitality that Martha provided, but I imagine He valued the attention that He received from Mary.
I believe in order for us to be effective in our service to the Lord, we have to rest. Yes, we are to serve the Lord but we are to do it with a cheerful heart and have a sense of peace while doing so. Often we engage in numerous ministries and are inundated with the responsibilities that come with them. We eventually find ourselves merely going through the motions but not actually focusing on why we are serving. We’re incapable of bringing glory to the Lord in our service to Him if we feel burdened by it. Without rest we can become bitter, discouraged, and physically as well as emotionally exhausted. We have to set aside time to sit at His feet; to bask in His presence without any interruptions. Should we eliminate our service to Him or disregard everything in our schedules? Absolutely not, but we do have to ensure that we are concentrating on Him. Taking time to enjoy His company will not only draw us closer in our relationship, but we will find great joy, peace and be more effective in our service to Him.