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Monday, April 2, 2007

Martha, Martha...

I want to be a Martha...

Now hold on, I know what you're thinking! Let me finish.

I want to be a Martha who has been lovingly reprimanded by the Savior.

She is not the same woman she was before! She now seeks the joy she was lacking before Yeshua spoke those sweet, painful, truthful words; "Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)
The story doesn't end here!

He knows she loves Him, but that in her rush to serve Him with the best she has to offer, she has lost the true meaning behind His definition of the word servant... sacrifice. Yet, when He looks at her, she knows He does not ask her to stop her work; only to be aware of what is most important about her work.

She is feeding a roomful of people who desperately want to soak in everything He has to say, knowing that there may be a time He will not be with them. Her error is not in overseeing the meal, or preparing the guest rooms for the numerous people that will be staying with them because of the presence of the Master; her only error is in demanding the help of her sister, who has chosen to join the dinner and listen with rapt attention. Certainly the absence of Mary in the kitchen cannot have made such a difference in the presentation of the meal; but I can see Martha's heart in my own.

"Why should I do all the work? She's just sitting there! She's as much a part of this household as I am - how dare she leave it all to me!" But Martha loves her position in her household as much as I love mine! Does it make that much difference? No. And there's the rub.

She slips into a corner of the hallway and dashes tears from her eyes. The words are piercing, and angering, and truthful. Deep breath.

Shall I stop what I'm doing and join the group in the dining room? No. I will finish preparing and serving the meal. But I will do it with a servant's heart this time. And when I enter the room to serve the Master, I will listen to His words and smile at my sister, and soak in what I can. I will use my position as the overseer of this household to make this time with His friends peaceful, and good. And instead of seeing my position and the resulting work as my due, I will find joy in my days, instead of obligation.

How do I know that the story doesn't end with verse forty-two? Because Martha goes on to give one of the most complete definitions of who Jesus is and Who sent Him in the book of John; ""Lord," she told Him, "I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God."" (John 11:27)

She no longer finds herself so wrapped up in what she does that she cannot see what is important. She knows.

Oh, He speaks to me in these passages - I don't stop! I fret over needless things. I throw my hands in the air in amazement at how busy I am, yet I don't take a good look at what my busy-ness is costing me. My joy. He has given me the sweet role of mama, wife, caretaker. There will be moments where I fail in my duties. But He needs me to do what I do - and He needs me to do it with a servant's heart. To make things better for others. To make things easier for them, welcoming for them, comforting to them. To be His hands.

We need Martha's. Without them, there might not be a meal to laugh and discuss over. Without them, there might not be inviting guest rooms to relax in on our journeys. Without them, the household wouldn't flow as smoothly.

Are you a Martha?

So am I.

Praise God. Let's find our joy.

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Blogger Steve, Dana and Maria said...

Thank you for this post! I am a Martha. It's good to see a new perspective.

April 1, 2007 at 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I enjoyed reading this :)

April 1, 2007 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Sweet blessings upon all the precious marthas in the world,enjoyed this post.

April 2, 2007 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger Terri @ In His Hands said...

I'm such a Martha! I do try to stop myself when I don't feel the joy but often times I'm too busy to notice.
Great post, Elise!

April 2, 2007 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

I am definitely a Martha, Elise. This post speaks to my heart.

April 2, 2007 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Cyndi said...

Yes! There IS a way to be a Martha. I loved this post! What a great perspective. :)

April 2, 2007 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I agree with Cyndi, "there is a way to be a Martha."

As a mom, I am a Martha, I long to be more like Mary, and yet in the same way Marhta did, I hear his voice reminding me of what is important in the midst of tending to what needs to be done.

Beautiful post Elise!

April 2, 2007 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Beka said...

Oh Elise,
This was such a blessing to my heart. I am most definitely a Martha, and it was so encouraging to think about how I can use my Martha nature for the glory of my Savior!
Thank you again, so very much.

April 2, 2007 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Faerylandmom said...

I never thought of Martha this way...You just made my day! I am such a Martha...thank you for the reminder of why I'm a Martha.

April 2, 2007 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Thank you, Elise, for reminding us what this story really means! Your post was better than any sermon! :)

Yes, let's find our joy, even in the midst of meals, laundry, groceries, and school work. This time is but a season of our lives and we need to live it with gratitude.

April 2, 2007 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I am reading "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" now and this fits in so well with what I've been thinking. Love this post, Elise!

April 2, 2007 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Great post. I am a Martha and I am having God teach me how to be a Martha and serve him, Martha's are important ;) I agree with Cyndi's comment.

April 2, 2007 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I keep choking up when I'm reading. I'm on the verge of an emotional sob, because it's so real. Wow!!

This part..."She slips into a corner of the hallway and dashes tears from her eyes. The words are piercing, and angering, and truthful. Deep breath."...made me sigh out loud, and I knew I'd start tearing up. You brought her character to life in your words, and with it the message of Christ.

April 2, 2007 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Wow, well-written and evocative.

April 2, 2007 at 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Lundie said...

Yes, I too am a Martha. Thank you for the reminder. Service has been on my mind lately...

April 2, 2007 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

And the Marys of the world say, "Amen!" I love this perspective.

April 3, 2007 at 6:32 AM  
Blogger e-Mom said...

Great minds think alike. My guest blogger just posted nearly identical thoughts to yours... Wow. I have a brand new perspective on Martha. Thanks! e-Mom

April 4, 2007 at 3:06 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Wonderful post! How we desperately need Marthas who regain their perspective. What amazing things they have to offer in service to Him!

April 4, 2007 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks for this Elise! I am a Martha too, wanting to serve Him in all I do.

April 4, 2007 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger janiswrites said...

What a wonderful post! I have never thought of her in this light and you have opened my eyes up to how much she is like me! It is all attitude, isn't it? If we do it with a servant's heart, then we are spending that time with God. Thanks so much for sharing!

April 4, 2007 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

"To make things better for others".

What a great way to sign off each day to know you've made something a little easier for someone else. I believe but do not practice enough that in order to have a good friend, husband, child - you have to be one first. Often we look for it in the receiving end first...

Wonderful thoughts!!

April 5, 2007 at 5:43 PM  

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