She seems to be everywhere the past three weeks. The subject in conference sessions, Bible study lessons, even a random show I caught on late night tv. Martha is everywhere! No, not Martha Stewart, but the first the homemaking, hostess to get our attention...Martha of Bethany.
Do you know her story? I'm sure you've heard snippets, even if you don't know her by name.
She's the gal that had a meltdown at Jesus as her sister, Mary, sat at His feet. You see, she was fed up. Tired of being the only one that did household chores and cooking while her sister seemed to be frittering away her time. She is best known, I suppose, as the woman who missed her moments with Jesus because she was caught up in chores and the day-to-day stuff of life. And Jesus told her Mary had made the right choice. (I'm paraphrasing here.)
Do you remember her now? Have you heard people say you need to strive to be a Mary in a Martha world? Or just not to be Martha? I have, but, perhaps they are missing the bigger picture. I know I was, until this month.
Yes, Martha gets caught up in her own life and kitchen and has to be nudged by Jesus, but do you see how she is open to it? How does the conversation start? In Luke 10 we are there in Martha's home and watch the scene unfold. Martha opens up to Jesus -- she is honest with her feelings. She wants Him to fix it, to be there for her, to understand that it doesn't feel right that she is the only one doing anything.
Do you know how often I'm not honest about how I feel? Even with God? I know I shouldn't feel that way or feel guilty about my feelings? So I don't take them head on or throw them down for God to see? Seriously...God. The God of the universe who knows my every thought, I don't talk to Him about how I feel. Why? I am not completely sure why, I guess it is a control/vulnerability thing. But I do know that it is only when you share your heart...your whole heart...that you reach a level of trust and true growth. And that God can begin to heal.
Fast forward a bit in Martha's life. Her brother, Lazarus, has died and her heart is broken when Jesus does not come to save him. In fact, Jesus shows up after her brother has been in the tomb for four days. Can you imagine her disappointment as she stands there before Jesus?
Where were You? I called out to You! I needed You and You did not come. Has your heart ever cried out to Him like this?
Jesus tells Martha Lazarus will rise again and she acknowledges that yes, death is not the end.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25, 26
Do you believe?
"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." John 11:27
In the midst of her pain, loss and disappointment she nods her head. Yes, she believed. This is the strongest statement of faith by a woman in the Bible.
And so it is in these chapters of Luke and John that I find myself reading, studying and camping in these last couple of weeks. And while I loved the new perspective I couldn't see the application in my life...yet.
I love when He does that. He brings you to what you need before you need it. And while I am not ready to share the trials of my heart this week, I can tell you that God has been showing me Martha for a reason. So that in midst of the heartache and pain for these last few days I can open up to Him, sharing my deepest hurts and anger...so that He can heal it! And allowing me in the midst of the deluge to look up to Heaven and see the Son. (see Son Showers for more on this)
So next time you hear that you shouldn't be a Martha, you can smile and know that there should be a little Martha in all of us.