Martha, Martha

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Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things….

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Busy: running to and fro with things to do, places to go, people to see, frantic energy, motion, impatience, hurrying, rushing, tense, aggravated, tired, irritated, busy, busy, busy…hiding.

When we are not at rest, refreshed, calm, content, peaceful, blissful, and blessed, we are usually busy.  Busy has become the most righteous-looking way to avoid yourself and God.  I have always hated it when someone is busy.  If we are talking and they are answering the phone, yelling at the dog, trying to fix dinner, and generally displaying impatience, I tend to think it’s a bad time.  And I feel less than acknowledged and appreciated.  People who spout off how they don’t have TIME for anything are actually saying they have arranged their priorities in such a way that there is no room on the list; a little like no room at the inn.  Sorry Jesus, you will have to be born with the livestock. We have our priorities after all.

Oh, God can stop them from their busyness.  He can allow them to stir themselves into such frenzy that they snap, and then meet with them in the hospital with some Haldol.  Or that pesky back that gives out every so often can be tweaked just a bit landing a busy person on the couch for several days.  But it’s better if they would learn to hate busy as much as God does.  It is a sure sign of having priorities all mixed up, and I can prove it:  Give some thought to times in your life when you felt especially loved, when life was refreshing and precious, where time stopped and your heart melted. Was it a busy time?

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There is nowhere to hide from the secret self loathing.  We just keep piling on things to do and things to think about so we don’t have to face  our certainty that we are not good enough, not doing enough, that we are not enough.  We hide from our sins and run from our iniquities.  This is the brilliant scheme of Satan.  Keeping us forever on a treadmill of busyness all the while looking more and more righteous.  After all, look how busy we are!  Look at all we DO!  Look at all that is on our plate.

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But we know it’s a lie.  We know because we cannot sit still.  We cannot be alone;  we cannot enjoy peace,  because we can find no peace.  But let me lift the curtain on the liar and show you the fallacy of his bull.  When we finally get alone, and get with our Lord, we hear things like:

  “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered” or  “Money paid to workers isn’t a gift. It is something they earn by working. But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him.”  Romans 4:4

“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …

Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

 Dr. Harry Ironside

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Over and over we have to reacquaint ourselves with Christ, his work on the cross, and our complete renewal and justification.  We are saved by faith.  And even that is a gift that we did not earn. How beautiful to be able to live and move and have our being;  knowing and believing that we are a friend of God, his very own beautiful creation.  If you have loved a child of yours and gazed on them until your heart ached with the fullness of that love,  you have felt one tiny drop in the ocean of love that God has for you.  And you are complete in Him, perfectly and exactly the way you are found this very day or on your worst day or any day.
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 So slow down. Stop. Rest and receive what you need, Martha.  Mary has chosen the one thing that is needful, and it will not be taken from her.  You would do well to do the same.

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