Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: Martha's work wasn't the problem...

Monday, May 7, 2018

Martha's work wasn't the problem...

The story of Mary and Martha was always a story I particularly liked in the Bible when I was a kid. Not for any super spiritual reason... but because it seemed like the best way to get out of some chores.

A simple read of the story makes it sound like Martha is getting fussed at for doing chores and Mary is praised for sitting and listening and hanging out with Jesus. Well, that sounded nice to me!

But as I re-read that passage today, I noticed that Jesus didn't chastise her for working. He didn't even look down on her work. After all, her work was important. She was being an amazing hostess and she was serving Jesus and His crew well by providing meals and bedding and everything that they needed.
What Jesus had an issue with was the motivating factor. Why was Martha working so hard? Because she was "distracted with much serving" and "anxious and troubled about many things," (Luke 10:40-41).

She was distracted.
She was anxious.
And she was troubled.

If she had asked, "But Lord, isn't my work important?" He probably would have responded with "Absolutely."
If she had asked, "But Lord, am I doing a good job?" He probably would have responded with "Absolutely."

He didn't have any problem with what she was doing. Martha's work wasn't the problem. He had a problem with the why and how. And because she was distracted and anxious and troubled, not only was she fussing at her sister and trying to embarrass her, but she was missing out on the person she was trying so hard to serve.

Her work wasn't the problem. It was why she was doing it and who she was missing out on.

These were the thoughts that directed my prayers this morning.
In all the craziness life swings at me - the good and the bad - I don't want to be defined by "distracted and anxious and troubled about many things."

I know I am capable of a lot of things. Even just in these 9 short months of motherhood (+ 9 months of pregnancy before that) I've discovered I am capable of far more than I could have guessed. I have new business opportunities on the horizon and ministry opportunities at every turn. But in all that doing and accomplishing and experiencing and serving and being and traveling and exploring and loving...
I don't want to miss out on the reason I am doing it and the Person I am doing it for.

Do you get distracted and anxious?


  1. Love this post! These exact words have been on my heart lately. The other day, I was reading this exact passage and thinking a new thought about how it wasn’t about what Martha was doing, but about her attitude and heart. This was such a timely post!

    PS: I love being able to keep up with you on Instagram since I don’t blog anymore!

    Sarah Dufries

    1. So glad, Sarah!!

      And I miss you blogging! Hope you're doing well, friend!