Have you ever walked in a desert not knowing when the next time you will see water? Or the next time you will find food? Well I haven’t actually walked in a physical desert but I can say I’ve walked in a spiritual desert. It felt much like the same as a physical desert. Hungry, thirsty, lost, dry, nothing near. Nobody near.
I remember crying out to the Lord asking, “where are you Lord? I cant hear or feel you! What have I done for you to leave me.” It was such a season of dryness for months. To say I was okay with it isn’t so true. Times came when I wanted to just give up and say I quit. But I am no quitter. I continued pressing in, continued searching and seeking God with all my heart mind and soul. It was then, when I realized what he was trying to show me.
He kept showing me the story of Mary and Martha. I’ve read it a few times and I knew about it but not actually KNOW the scenes. Or know that I was being one of them. If you don’t know about this story let me just give a quick recap. Its quite short. Its found in Luke 10:38-42 if you’d like to get your bible and seek it yourself. Jesus was coming in town and Martha welcomed him in her home. I love that part because she welcome him in. She opened her home to Jesus. So welcoming, such great hospitality. I can relate. I love opening my home to strangers, having them feel welcomed and at home. But wait, heres the other part, the one part I don’t like very much if I am being honest. I relate to this also, and maybe you do too. As Martha welcome Jesus in her home she was distracted very much by serving. Such as cleaning up the house, having everything in perfect order, maybe having the home too perfect and not quite focusing on Jesus’ presence. His living presence in the home. She allowed things, chores possibly, to distract her from what was really and truly important. JESUS.
While her sister, Mary, didn’t focus on serving, but most importantly focused on Him. Just sitting in His presence, sitting at his feet listening to His teachings. How beautiful and how wonderful to see Mary just sitting and listening. Oh how I wish I was like Mary. When I read this I felt a small sting in my heart. I had to read it once more. Ouch. How I was so much like Martha and not Mary. Although I do love a clean home, a welcoming opening home, I also get distracted with other things and not enjoying the peoples presence. Sitting at the Lords feet, hearing his teachings, is the good portion rather than the other things that can be done throughout the day.
Have you ever woke up in the early mornings to spend time with Jesus only to see your phone goes off, the doorbell somehow rings, the kids wake up searching for mommy, the coffee alarm goes off, the drapes seem uneven so its okay to fix it real quick, or “wait I see a little bit of dust let me clean it real quick than come back to Jesus.” Friend, I have been there. I have gotten distracted countless of times when trying to spend time with Jesus. It was then, that story, that touched my heart and helped me see who I was being. Please don’t get me wrong, being Martha is beautiful also. Having a gift of hospitality is wonderful but it comes to a certain point when we have to stop and enjoy the company’s presence. Especially Jesus. We live in a world where distractions will come and wipe out our peace if we allow it to. We live in a Martha world. Busyness. Distractions. To-do lists. A plate filled with things we definitely don’t need. So how can we be Mary in a Martha world? While I don’t have the exact perfect answers, I do have some that the Lord has been helping me with in hopes it can help you too.
Find a quiet sacred place. This is a very important thing to do. Finding the right quiet place for just you and the Lord is vital. We all have different places such as, closets, tables, the outdoor patio, the desk, that very comfy chair. Find your spot with no distractions. Place your things next to it such as your bible, journal, highlighter, pens, lamp if needed. Doing this will help you not have to get up to much because you forgot this or that. It will also be easier to just sit and be ready knowing you have what you need.
Remove distractions. Remove anything in that area that could get you distracted from Him. You want to spend time with him and not have to focus on, oh that laundry basket right there let me get that real quick and come back. By that time, another task will pop up, another thing and by the time you know it, its lunch time or evening time.
Get up early. I know this could be hard. Especially if you are in a season of motherhood. As a mom of 4, I found it quite hard to get up early. I wanted sleep but I also wanted to spend time with my creator. When I first started this I would get up 20 minutes before giving myself time to pour me a cup of coffee and be ready. But now, I get up about an hour and 15 minutes earlier than I had before and let me say, its so worth it. Sometimes I don’t want that precious time to end because its so precious to me. Find your time and be consistent. Don’t quit. At times when you want to go back to bed, don’t. It’ll be worth getting up and being refilled and recharged with Him.
Pray. While this may seem simple, while some may not know what to pray, simply say a small prayer if needed. Asking the Lord to reveal to you what it is that needs to be removed from your plate that is taking you away from Him. While it may be something you are having a hard time with getting away from, ask the Lord for his help. He will help! Sometimes we just have to put those things on pause for our focus to be merely on him. Pray for His welcoming presence in your area, in your home.
Journal. Write your to-do things to get them off your mind. Somehow when we spend time with Jesus our minds seem to go off, gears run, thoughts an to-do things happen to run our mind. Write them down to give you a peace of mind that you won’t forget. Than say his name, Jesus, as many times as you need to get your focus and attention back to him.
Don’t Rush. I can’t stress this enough. I know we all have things to get done and do but don’t rush. Let him fill your cup up. Let him fill your mind heart and soul. Let his peace overflow within you and his presence to sit in awe with you. Be Still my friend. Let Him recharge you. When your time is up, you will walk out of your sacred space feeling filled up and you will shine brighter than you did without him.
Knock off the things that don’t matter. We tend to put so much on our plate that we get overwhelmed. Anxious. Troubled. Much like Martha, she was troubled and anxious about getting everything ready and served she even asked Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “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.”
Living in a Martha world where theres so much going on, so much to do, focusing on other things rather than Jesus, we have to stop and eliminate the things that doesn’t matter. Mary just wanted to sit at his feet and listen to his teachings while Martha cared about serving, and probably house chores and to-do things while being anxious and troubled. Lets not let those things distract us from the living water. From the one who can truly give us what we NEED. The other things will be there. They won’t be going anywhere. Whats important is getting to spend time with our Lord and Savior who wants a relationship with you. A time for just you and Him not other things.
While walking in the desert might seem raw, cruel, and helpless… it isn’t. Its a sacred place. A place he calls you out to to seek him continually. A place of faith and trust. A place where he will call and equip you. Where he will fill you up, remove what he doesn’t want in you, grow you into the person he wants you to be. But first, chase after him. Never quit, never stop seeking him. He is faithful, he is loving, he is a God of His Word.
Never be ashamed or afraid to RESET. Walking away from distractions is always great and focusing on just his presence and you is the best thing you can do for your soul to refresh. Reset today friend, whatever your reset may look like. Be Mary in this Martha world, never losing sight of His presence because of the many distractions and to-do lists.