Thursday, February 10, 2022

My Story Matters: Martha of Bethany

Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to (Jesus) and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”  Luke 10:40

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed home.  “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”  John 11:20-22

With a hop, skip, and a jump, we are back in the New Testament to glance into the life of Martha.  

Now, Jesus loved Martha (John 11:5).  

I love her, as well.  

I have often thought I could relate most to this woman of Scripture (I'm pretty sure we may share the same DNA) overzealous servant, filling my plate with too much do-gooding, having a bit of a case of “limelightitis,” and easily distracted with people-pleasing.  

However, throughout most of my life, I've only focused on the negative of Martha’s character.  

That’s often easy for us to do with other people, isn’t it?  

Over the years I've learned that each negative trait has a flip side to the coin that is positive; and, I’m convicted of my judgment toward Martha, and want to honor that other side of her.   

In fact, if we look more deeply, Martha has many good qualities, and, one in particular stands out.

Let me you read the Scripture above, what stands out to you?  

Martha’s self-pity(?); or, maybe her attempt at putting a guilt-trip on Jesus?  How about her “bossiness”?  

Yes, I can see some of those things, too.  

However, as I was reading her story this morning, something else hit me – her honesty, vulnerability, and
authenticity with Jesus.  

That's when I realized, Martha felt SAFE in the love of Jesus.  

She felt so safe, in fact, that she was able to be herself – her very messy, very confused, and sometimes, very self-centered self.  

While it tells me a lot about Jesus, it speaks volumes about Martha.  

She had no trust issues where her Lord was concerned.  

She knew Him intimately, so she trusted Him equally.

Because she trusted Him, she could be REAL around Him.

Sadly, many days, I am reminded that, unlike Martha, I do have trust issues.  

Often, I am careful how I petition the Lord in prayer.  

Sometimes, I color my pain with pretty colors.  

Now and again, I dress my heart up in its finest, and put on a good front - yep, even with Jesus! 

Every once in a while, I even build a big brick wall, put a padlock on the gate, and dig a moat that I fill with water and crocodiles, hoping that He gets the message: stay out of this area of my heart.   

BUT, Martha reminded me this morning that Jesus is not over-advertised; He is just under-trusted.  

Jesus is not over-rated; He is under-estimated.  

Jesus is completely, 100% safe, and He doesn’t care about the mess our souls are in, nor is He bothered with how tangled and twisted the barbed wire has gotten around our hearts.  

If there’s any place we can take our sorrows, distractions, and frustrations, and not be condemned, it’s to Jesus.  

May we learn this lesson well from a woman who came before Him boldly, in all honesty, and placed her pain in the palm of His soon-to-be nail scarred hands! 

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16.

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