Yesterday Justin preached about Jesus with Martha and Mary. You know the story, when Martha is super busy getting lunch ready for Jesus and his crew, and Mary (her sister) isn’t helping Martha at all. She is just sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening. Martha is frustrated because her sister isn’t doing her fair share of the work, so she asks Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help her. Martha asks Jesus, “Don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone?”
Don’t you care, Jesus?
In January, our church plant will be two years old. The church family is expanding, but slowly. At the three year mark, we want to be a self-supporting church, able to meet our operating expenses without the assistance of other churches.
I’m not sure if we’re going to make the mark.
Don’t you care, Jesus?
Martha saw all that she had to do: good work serving others, but she couldn’t see Jesus. He wasn’t anything but another item on her to-do list. Feed Jesus and his friends: check.
I so relate to Martha.
- Read the Bible: check.
- Make supper: check.
- Do the Laundry: check.
- Pray before drifting off to sleep: check.
Jesus loved Martha. He looked at her and said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Mary chose to sit and listen to Jesus. Martha chose to run herself ragged, trying to be the perfect hostess.
I struggle mightily with anxiety and being troubled about many things. It’s kind of my modus operandi. And this whole church plant adventure has been the perfect storm for anxiety. It has exposed
- my selfishness (I don’t want to talk to new people!)
- my pride (I don’t want to help lead music – I don’t sing well enough!)
- my apathy (I should be praying for people in our church family…but I think I’ll check facebook instead.)
But most of all, I can see with greater clarity than ever my lack of trust in God.
God my Father, who gives “good gifts to those who ask him,” who knows every hair on my head, who loves me so much that he sent Jesus to save me, who will not leave me or forsake me, this is the God of whom I continually ask, “God, don’t you care?”
When I sit down to read my Bible and pray, I either a) start to doze off or b) fight an internal battle with the anxious portion of my mind that is saying, “Are you kidding me? You are going to sit down and just read? Have you seen your bathroom floor lately? There are million of people all around the world right now leading productive lives and you are just going to sit there? Well, not if I can help it!” And the internal nagging increases in intensity.
This struggle is not by accident, I believe. That voice is suspiciously absent when I sit down to watch a TV show or read a book of fiction. We super-Christians don’t like to admit it, but it is hard to read your Bible. It is even harder to pray. It is hard, and it seems pointless, and so we move on. But as Jesus told Martha, listening to him and sitting at his feet is the most important, the most necessary thing I can do each day. God knows what I need. He knows what’s going to happen with the church plant, and he’s got that under control too.