June 29, 2005
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Remember those old kerosene lamps? I remember as a little boy when a thunderstorm would cause the lights to go off. My grandfather would reach into the closet and pull out a couple of kerosene lamps. As long as there was oil in the lamp, the wick would burn.
The Marthas' of this world tend to burn themselves out. Martha was working in the kitchen, throwing pots and pans around, and cooking up the best meal perhaps Jesus had ever eaten. But she was upset and there was no joy in it because she, like many of us, was burning the wick instead of burning the oil.
Isn’t it amazing that Martha received Jesus—the Son of God, the Creator, the Redeemer—into her home, but she was too busy to spend time with Him. Sound familiar? Martha became too hurried to worship Him, and the whole time the only thing Jesus really wanted from her was her time and worship. But Mary understood that.
Many Christians are burning the wick and there’s no oil—there’s no experience of faith and worship before God on a daily basis. In this life, we must find a beautiful balance of life between worship and work. We must learn to receive before we can give. I know in my own life, if I don’t spend significant time with God, I have very little (if anything) to give out.
We can work our fingers to the bone in life doing everyday things including ministry work, but at the end of the day we will end up exhausted, depleted, and frustrated because we haven’t spent quality time with the Lord and maintained a good balance.
Mary was the person who recognized the need for balance in her life. She realized the beauty of balance between sitting and serving. Each time we meet Mary in the New Testament (on three occasions) she is at that significant place where we should all be—at the feet of Jesus.
If you’ve lost your sense of balance and you find yourself patterning your existence after Martha’s habits, then stop, regain focus on Jesus, and make time for both work and worship. Ask God to renew your spirit and give you a sense of balance in all areas of your life. You’ll find then, that you won’t burn out.
BEWARE OF THE BARRENNESS OF A BUSY LIFE WITHOUT GOD.
INSTEAD LEARN TO EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF BALANCE.