Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Now, I must admit that I have not yet mastered some parts of this passage. While I truly love God, want to know Him more and am so thankful He saved me, I don’t love the part of this verse that says, “Be still.” That certainly is not one of my natural abilities. I find silence awkward, and I don’t enjoy sitting still. I am a work in progress.
This reminds me of the story about two sisters, Mary and Martha, from Luke Chapter 10. Mary and Martha opened their home to Jesus as he traveled with his disciples. As Martha hurries to ensure the preparations are perfect, Mary chooses to sit at Jesus’s feet.
Mary and Martha may be sisters, but their priorities are very different. While Mary soaks in the moments with Jesus, Martha can’t think past the cooking and cleaning. Martha becomes irritated with all the work she is doing alone and starts complaining. Martha says to Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all this work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Jesus replies, “Martha, Martha, you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Mary treasured the time with Jesus and focused entirely on his presence. When Martha complained, He gently reminded her of what her focus should be: building a relationship with Him. Martha certainly showed amazing gifts by welcoming Jesus and his disciples, but she got lost in the distractions.
Martha’s actions in and of themselves were about hospitality and service —two honorable qualities. 1 Peter 4:9–10 describes hospitality as a spiritual gift, and Romans 12:6-8 describes service the same way. The problem with Martha’s actions weren’t that she was doing things God doesn’t value. Rather, Martha chose to concentrate on the spotlessly clean house, a beautifully set table and perfect meal instead of sitting at Jesus’s feet.
This world contains many distractions, and it can seem overwhelming. What we can do is set aside time each day to pray and read His word.
When we put first things first, He offers us peace amid chaos and concerns. His grace is sufficient, and His mercies are new every morning.
Maybe it’s time for us to stop rushing around and worrying like Martha and instead be still and know like Mary.
Robin Killeen is the founder of W.O.W. Women of Wisdom. Reach her at (228) 424-0098 and learn more at www.wowcommunity.org.