Unexpected Martha Moment
– Free Printable Bible Journaling
Unexpected Martha Moment – Free Printable Bible Journaling
If you’ve been following me for a while now or buying my Bible Studies then you probably know that I am not a fan of referring to the over-exposed passages of scriptures. That’s probably not the right way to say that. Scripture can’t lose it’s validity because the humans of the world overuse it. I guess it’s all in the presentation. Well anyway, I don’t tend to use scriptures that you have probably heard over and over again, simply because I fear that will shy you away from listening to what I have to say because “you’ve heard it already.” Today is different however. God placed a scripture on my heart that I have avoided using in the past for fear of sounding redundant in your ear. After meditating on it a bit, I am starting to think that isn’t the true reason I’ve been avoiding it. So I guess it’s time to tell you about my Unexpected Martha Moment – Make sure you read all the way through so you can get your free printable for Bible Journaling too!)
Luke 10:38-42 have always kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Right from the start I get defensive in Martha’s name and automatically want to trip Mary on her way to go sit at Jesus’ feet. Now don’t get me wrong. Martha is a bit of a tattletale which drives me insane. Whenever my kids come to tattle on each other I automatically stop listening and remind said child that, at this point, the only person in trouble is the one standing in front of me complaining. Even in all of her tattletale glory, I still want to defend Martha.
For what seems like the first time, I read vs 10:41 in the NLT translation. In the past I have heard it say, “ Martha, you are worried and upset over many things” As a matter of fact, as I look this verse up on BibleHub.com (my favorite) I see that most versions say many things as well. Not the NLT of course…
I like to tell people that the NLT is like my BFF. I have been drawn to it for about 3 years now. I went through a rough patch just before that and it was almost like I became blinded to the ESV I had been reading for so long. This Bible that had come with me everywhere, had writing all in the margins and a peeling off back cover, was no longer making any sense to me. I was scared. I can’t remember who it was but one of the speakers/pastors that I liked to listen to seemed to be screaming the verses from it, in my face. Then after that it would pop up everywhere. It took a while and a lot of research and defensive arguments with “true believers,” but finally, I bought one and haven’t been able to fall in love with another Bible the way I have with this one since then. It never fails. Every verse, every time, it seems like it is speaking directly to me. Just the kick in the pants I usually need….
Getting back to Luke 10:41,
in the NLT the words are “you are worried and upset over all those details.” Reading those words this morning literally made me stop right in my tracks. It seems as though I could no longer write off the actions of Martha as different from mine. I have hear this lecture a bazillion times and I feel like at this point in my life, I sort of have it under control. If there are too many things on my plate, I need to take some off. I often find myself with too much on my plate but I am quick to recognize it and reassess so there are less things to do. I feel like I have become much more proficient at using only my best yes and telling people no. (Thank you Lysa Terkurst – The Best Yes). Well God sees things a bit differently. At first, it was probably about doing less, better, but now that I’ve got somewhat of a handle on that concept, He has opened my eyes to another part of this idea that I wasn’t paying attention to. Am I obsessing over the details?
Is the concept bouncing around your head now? Do you struggle with having too much on your plate or is your focus getting caught up in the details? I stopped to think about getting the Monthly Bible Study Kits out for August. It took me so much longer than it should have because of my attention to detail. I am sure my family will attest to the fact that it got quite obsessive. When I should have been doing other things, I was gluing sequins onto small hand drawn oranges, packing and re-packing loaded envelops with the goodies in 10 different positions, snapping pictures and assessing what looked best. The packing them in envelopes only to pull them out and see what positioning held up the best in the envelope. One of the nights I started at 9pm only to look up and see that it was 3am. I’d say that I was focusing on the details a bit too much…
As always, God has opened my eyes to a flaw in my character that needs to handled.
Also, as always, it’s at an inconvenient time and I’ve got 10 excuses for why I need to work on this later, but I won’t. I refuse to allow myself to succumb to this temptation to avoid/put off. I have chosen to follow the Lord, chosen to obey His word, chosen to walk in His calling. Because of those choices, I will handle this today. In order to do that, I will need to get to the root of the problem and rip it out of the ground. The only way this will work is if I get every last bit of it, right now. I need to sideline the plans I had for today, spend some serious time in prayer with the Lord, and work until I get every root from every area, pulled out and destroyed. I can’t leave anything for later. I must spend the time that I don’t have to share, taking care of this right now.
As I asked the Lord to show me the root of the problem, one word came to mind. Fear.
See the thing is, without even realizing it, I am doing crazy things at 3am, out of fear. Fear that after a year and a half of monthly study kits being shipped all over the world, & loyal customers that have been there from day 1, the effort that I put forth this month won’t impress them and they will stop ordering. Fear that what I create won’t be impressive enough to hold their attention or that the study won’t meet their expectations. Fear that my efforts will be in vain and I will rapidly loose all that I have worked so hard for. Fear that I will not be enough.
Do you think Martha felt this way? Did she experience a deep fear that her sense of self worth was hanging in the balance? That her hard-work ethic wouldn’t be enough to please the only true person to whom it really mattered? Maybe. I guess it’s possible that Martha and I are a bit more alike than I would care to admit.
I wish I could hear more of the story. Know what happened in Martha’s heart after this conversation, what her next few months looked like. Did she use the advice she was given? Did she resist before changing her ways? I can only hope that she turned to the Lord and asked for assistance as she worked to make the change.
Isaiah 41:13 says, “For I hold you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (NLT)
As I asked for God’s help in the midst of my problem, He revealed this verse to me. Again, I give it to you in the NLT because it spoke volumes to me. It’s not that I needed to hear that I should be afraid because God will help me. I know He will and I know He can. It’s that He IS HERE ALREADY to help. I don’t have to try and spare Him the inconvenience. I don’t have to feel like I am bothering Him with my human flaws. There is no need to convince Him to put more effort into something (me) that He’s already put so much work into (and yet still I fail Him daily). He IS ALREADY THERE. READY TO WORK WITH ME ONCE MORE.
I have written this post for….
all of my homeschool mamas, struggling to create the balance as the school year begins. My new mama friends who need to be reminded that they can’t and won’t mess their child up as long as they are relying on the Lord. The ones of you that are starting new semesters in college who want to make a difference in the world, but feel like you are ill-equipped. The husbands who want to be better men then what the world is currently telling you to be, but tremble at the thought of figuring out how. The women both young and old, looking up into the face of a new challenge, fearing they don’t have what it takes. Let me be the first to say this to you.
NO, you can’t do it. Yes you probably will fail. No your efforts will never be enough. You are a lousy, sinner and you don’t stand a chance. The thing about it is, it isn’t up to you to do it. You have grace. You have unconditional, unfailing love. You have a Savior who is holding your right hand RIGHT NOW, looking you in the eyes and saying, “There’s no need to fear. I will do this. You just need to walk along with me.” (exhale a sigh of relief, it’s ok.)
If only Martha had known this truth before Jesus came to her doorstep, then maybe she wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to sit and dwell with her Savior and soak in all He had to offer her. After reading this passage through this lens, I can tell you that I am going to do my best to not get caught up in the details that cause me to miss an opportunity to sit with my Savior and experience every morsel of anything that He offers me again. I beg of you to do the same!
I pray these words were helpful to you and that you find some quiet time to spend meditating on them with God. Make sure you grab the free printable below to help you create!
You can click HERE to grab the PDF!