Martha or Messiah?

There are words written in pastel chalk on the cement leading to my front door. Drawn at the brink of our family celebration, the words became a welcome mat acknowledging my son’s high school graduation, my parent’s 60th anniversary.

“Congratulations!” “Welcome to California!”

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 Chalk words that gladdened hearts now fade in the summer sun. The family members we welcomed have gone.

I mop the kitchen floor, erasing dusty footprints and sticky crumbs where people gathered to eat and laugh. Now the only reminders of my guests are photographs nailed to the refrigerator with magnets. Moments captured. Smiling faces preserved on matted paper.

Has it only been a week since I felt my eldest son’s strong embrace, smelled the fresh scent of my daughter’s hair, listened to the voices of my parents who have loved me well?

While they were here, I cooked, served, and smiled. I rose before dawn like the woman in Proverbs and saw to the needs of my household. Adrenaline, and love for them, kept me going till the midnight hour.

The family called me Martha (woman mentioned in the Gospels). They urged me to sit still and rest. But I’m wired to be a Martha…catering to other people’s needs.

Did you sleep well? Are you hungry? Can I get you something to drink?

Are you hot or cold? Need a pillow for your head?

How can I encourage you, pray for you? Make you feel loved?

I don’t mind being a Martha, but in assuming to meet their every need, do I act like their Messiah?

·  Do I urge them to rely on Jesus, or depend on me when there’s a problem and decision to be made?

· Do I mislead when I share what I think is best, or encourage them to consult and obey God’s Word?

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Some days, I balk at being Martha when I think of what Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things…” (Luke 10:41)

Then I read His Word, “Jesus loved Martha….” (John 11:5) And I’m reminded He loves me too even when I’m worried and distracted by many things.

I know Jesus loves me because even in this….aftermath of celebration…He’s teaching me that a Martha can best serve her family’s needs by letting go, and leading them to Jesus.

Unlike the chalk words on my cement, HIS Word never fades away.

  

What Happens to Good Intentions?

248Easter weekend arrived, along with our extended family.

We gathered to celebrate the Risen Christ. Celebrate our family–four generations.

Great grandpa said grace and sliced the ham that Great Grandma baked. Aunts and uncles squeezed next to grown children around the dinner table.

Passed hot platters of meat and steaming bowls of vegetables. Piled potato salad on our plates. Poured tea. Passed the rolls.

As the one-year-old great grandchild munched on deviled eggs, the grown “kids” listened to reminisces: “Remember when?” “Back in my day….”

That weekend, old hearts reconnected, new spouses welcomed. Torches passed to the next generation. “Raise up your children in the way they should go.”

When we hugged goodbye, we left with good intentions.

“Let’s get together this summer.”

“I promise to email more often.”

“Call me!”

But I know as life returns to normal, busyness erases our good intentions.

Same thing happens after a spiritual retreat.

Fellowship with other believers. Allow God to speak through His Word. Worship Him through songs. Remember His faithfulness and love.

I can’t get enough of God. I return home with good intentions.

“I promise to pray more.”

“I’ll seek the Lord before I start each day.”

“I’m going to  ____Fill in the blank___”Read my Bible, join a Bible study, witness, Love God more….”

But as life returns to normal, busyness erases my good intentions.

Consequently, I become a slave to worry, fear, anger, malice. Find it difficult to trust God in my circumstances. Struggle to love. Wrestle with God’s will.

Need I say more?

But what a blessing to know when I fail to live up to my good intentions,

I can pray for the good things that God intends for us.

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:16-20