How Do We Deal? - Dealing With Busyness

Writer Author  Filoiann Wiedenhoff
Christian Column : Overcoming Struggles  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer "Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus'* feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus* answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." NKJV -Luke 10:38-42

I was driving around one afternoon; running errands for this and that, picking up the kids then taking the kids here and dropping them off there. Now that I have teenagers I think I spend more time in my car now than ever.

As I was coming home I thought about the story of Martha and Mary and how the topic of sitting at the Lords feet rather than works has been coming up a lot lately. Hmmm... I wonder if God is trying to tell me something?

Well, one thought did come to mind. When I was thinking about Martha, I realized that faith without deeds is dead but Jesus said that one thing was needed and Mary chose the good part and it will not be taken away from her. So I asked myself, "Where is the balance between being a Mary and a Martha?"

What I love about God's Word is when you look at the heart of what the scriptures are really saying, you will find that it makes so much sense and it also brings clarity. For example, If you look at the passage again, Martha was doing a noble thing. She was preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples. Remember in those days they did not have microwave ovens, electric stoves and a super-market to buy fresh bread. Everything had to be handmade from scratch and most likely took hours to prepare.

So in looking back in time, asking Mary for a little help would have been reasonable. The wonderful thing about Jesus was that He knew how hard Martha was working in the kitchen and also knew that she probably did need help but saw Mary's heart as an opportunity to display His will rather than Martha's will. He wanted them both to know and understand that sitting at His feet was more important to Him than serving Him food. As you read on you will see that the food Jesus desires doesn't come from human hands.

Do you remember the story of the woman at the well? After Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman he told His disciples that His food was to do the will of His Father. His ministering to the woman at the well was His sustenance; it nourished Him and made Him full. We don't realize how important to God we are. Yes, we do know that He loves us and died for us but for some reason it seems as though that concept doesn't register in our minds what the height, depth and width of His love for us really is.

We forget that this world is passing away and we get so caught up in this life with so many things and neglect what really matters most which is our personal relationship with Jesus. We read the bible for 15 minutes and call it a day instead of meditating on His Word or His Love all day long. We'll choose to watch a two hour movie but spending a half hour in prayer is too long for us. We go here and we go there but never stop to give God our thanks and praise.

All the while, He is there just waiting patiently for us to remember Him in the midst of our busy lives. But Mary's heart is what blessed Him. He saw that she just wanted to inhale anything that came out of His mouth. She was so grateful and thankful to Have Him there in her house that she didn't care about anything else but being right there at His feet.

So what was the question again? It was how do we find the balance between being a Martha and a Mary?

Jesus set the tone with His response to Martha by saying that she was distracted by much serving. The key word here is "distracted". What's interesting is the word used in the Hebrew is "Perispao" in our English language it is, "cumber" which means hindered by being in the way. In other words Martha's busyness and serving was actually hindering her and getting in the way of her relationship with Jesus.
My question to you is, "Is your service or busyness keeping you or getting in the way of you having a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus?"

Jesus also said that Mary chose that good part and it will not be taken away from her. The word "part" also means portion. He was making a distinction between Martha's serving and Mary's sitting. In our relationship with Jesus we are created to serve Him and Glorify God and we are also called to sit at His Feet and receive from Him. But Jesus makes it very clear which part comes first.

Martha's desire to feed and serve Jesus was indeed a blessing, but Mary's sitting and receiving from Jesus was the one thing that was needed and it will never be taken away from her because she chose that good part. So the message here is that before we go out to serve the Lord, we must first sit and receive from Him because it is He that enables us and empowers us to do His good and perfect work here on earth.

"So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. " NKJV-Romans 9:16

Remember that Jesus's food was to do the will of His father by making Himself real to the people that God brought to Him by feeding them with His Word. Do you see how when we come to Jesus and allow Jesus to feed us His Word that He is fed also and so are we?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” NKJV – Revelations 3:20

So the next time you find yourself being a Martha, don't forget to ask yourself if you are first being a Mary. Invite Him in and allow Him to feed you with His Word and in the midst of your busyness you will find peace and joy because you dine with your Lord and King who sustains you and makes you full. For the bible says that He will satisfy us.

Last question: Are you dining with Him? If not, He stands at the door knocking and waiting for you to open the door of your heart. Allow Him to come in and dine with you and you with Him.

Editor's Comment: Filoiann Wiedenhoff is a pastor's wife, woman's biblical counselor, bible teacher, writer and columnist. You can view her website at

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