Having a Type A personality is both a blessing and a curse. When something needs to be done, I’m your girl. Huge projects give me life and breath. I have this constant need to have a project, to be doing something. Jesus does not approve. UGH.
Luke 10 lays it out so clearly that Jesus wants us to just sit at his feet when He shows himself – to lay everything else aside and just rest in His presence, His wisdom, His conversation. Some of us (Martha and me) just are not capable of that.
Does Jesus ever tell us that we will get closer to Him, that we can understand Him better by working? Um. No. He specifically says that He wants us to “Come…and I will give you rest.” He wants us to “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me…and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” He says “Be still and know that I am God.” He spoke to Elijah in a small whisper, not the ever moving and powerful whirlwind. David claims “In repentance and rest is Your salvation; in quietness and trust is Your strength.”
There are times where I get so anxious and get something on my mind that has to be done that I cannot even sleep; it even haunts my dreams. What does God say to that? “ It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.”
He calls and says, “Abide in me.” That’s all He wants – as a lover, a friend, a mentor – our undivided attention. He wants us to abide. What does that word mean, you ask? Thanks to Google, I have a better understanding. Here are the highlights!
1. Abide – to remain, continue, to stay. This definition is very much Mary’s heart. She is just with Him. In His presence. She stayed there, unmoved by Martha’s pleas and guilt trip.
2. Abide – to have one’s abode with, residence. What a beautiful idea of what our lives should be like – simply living with God all the time. He’s the One you come home to, have dinner with, spend all of your free time with. The person you most enjoy seeing after a hard day of work, etc etc.
3. Abide – to wait for. This was an interesting idea about abiding for me. I’d never thought of it like this before. Jesus asks us to wait with him. SO many times, He wants us to learn patience and wants us to be in situations where He was the only person that could have come through. When we (I) give up on trusting Him to take care of something, that’s when we should be looking toward Him the most. He asks us to wait for Him to move, to wait to see His hands. He’s already working, we just can’t see it yet. Later in Mary’s life, her brother Lazarus died. Jesus appears to have shown up four days too late to work a miracle. Martha and Mary both exclaim that Jesus could have done something if He’d only been on time…but Jesus was on time. He knew what miracle needed to happen. They already had faith that He could heal; now, they needed to be pushed to something more, something harder to believe in. So He made them wait for Him.
4. Abide – to accept without opposition or question. Honestly, I don’t even know that I can do this one at all. I question everything, even my own decisions , backwards and forwards, inside-out and upside-down. I have to look at every angle and every option before I can settle on a decision. Trusting God blindly and completely is something that is extremely difficult for me. But Corrie Ten Boom, a great hero of the faith, said “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. ” I’m definitely still learning to trust the engineer. PS I’m slightly afraid of the dark, so that doesn’t help.
I am so jealous of the Mary-types in the world. I often wonder why God decided that I should be the person I am, but I know God is capable of changing my personality disorder, as I’ve decided to call it. He will continue to work in my life to make me exactly what I need to be; I just need to let Him be in control.
This verse seems like the perfect ending to this post. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” There are so many parts of my life that I have been struggling through for years now, and it appears things can/will never change, but I won’t faint. God is rest. God is holding my heart and knows right where I am, even in my struggles. Even though Mary was at his feet worshiping, He still called out to Martha. He wanted her there. I know He wants me.