Sunday, September 15, 2013

So What's Wrong with Being Martha?

    I'm a Martha, and I'm not ashamed to say it.  Unless, of course, you are Mary.  
You know, the Bible story about two sisters named Mary and Martha?

     The truth is, I don't really like that I'm a Martha.  Martha was scolded, and for good reasons I guess. Martha was busy, multitasking.  And Martha was complaining.  It wasn't enough that she was "keeping house" while Mary gave their special guest her undivided attention, but Martha was also frustrated that Mary wouldn't help carry the load.  Yep Martha, that's me.

I've got to admit, I worry too much and don't trust enough.  I manage the details and keep things in order, as I run down my checklist.  I super analyze and think things through... over and over again.  I carry the burdens of others and me.  I feel responsible, for them and me.  And I get grumpy, I admit.  Because of the burdens I carry within.  

Trying to measure up and meet my own expectations.  I set the bar high and try hard to make it.  My expectations are high- at times too high- both for myself and others.  Martha.  That about sums it up.

So where does that leave me?  How does God see me?  Am I unlovable, unworthy because of my shortcomings?  No.  God loves me just as I am.  He loves Martha just as much as He loves Mary.  In fact, both Martha and Mary had a true and real relationship with Jesus.  They were friends.  (Luke 10:38-42, John 11:5)

And while Mary may have been a very attentive listener,  Martha also knew who to turn to with her concerns.  Martha felt close enough and comfortable enough to complain to Jesus. ..."When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, and said to Him, ' Lord, 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)  
The conversation continues with Jesus reminding Martha, "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? (verses 25-26)  
To this Martha responds, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the son of God, who was to come into the world." (John vs.27)
However, later in the course of what was taking place, as Jesus was getting ready to bring Lazarus back to life, Martha's analytical mentality rises to the surfaces, and she says, "But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." (vs. 39)
I can almost picture this scene.  There is Jesus, a crowd and his close friends, Mary and Martha, as they are about to witness one of the greatest miracles of all time.... and there's Martha, "But, Lord" putting her foot in her mouth again.  
(Don't you hate it when your kids question you?  But, mom!)
To this Jesus responds, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" (vs. 40)
---Martha, you're about to see the glory of God!
And we can only imagine the joy and gladness that was had among friends that day.

Well, guess what?  I kind of like Martha.  She sounds a little feisty and all.  But she knows her God.  She knows who to turn to when she's frustrated, angry, sad, etc.  When she's in need, she knows who to call on for help and who to struggle with.  I guess because she knows how much He loves her.  She knows He will speak truth to her, and care for me, and provide for me, and forgive me, and love me... just as I am.

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