Sharing The Word

    We Either Trust God Or We Don't

Psalm 91 is perhaps one of my favourite psalm to read. What a benefit we have in Jesus Christ and all we have to do is just sit in His arms and let Him take care of us. So why is it so difficult to do this? I find that it can be especially trying when we are experiencing crisis in our lives.

Every time that I think that I have learned a lesson about doubt, I find myself heading through what I call the valley of worry.

the valley of worry

What is it that causes us to regress so easily into a state of doubt, worry, stress and anxiety that cause emotional and sometimes physical paralysis? Do we forget, that when we rest in Jesus we can find that our burdens are easier to bear? I am convinced that worry is a crippling distraction that serves to distance us from the comforting words of Christ in our lives and encourages us to forget, that when He is near, there is no need to worry.

I remember my mother teaching the story of Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus. She said, it was clear that whilst Mary believed fully in the power of Jesus, whatever He would do, Martha was more concerned with complaining about the house and the dust, and the fact that she felt that Mary was not doing enough. I had heard this story so many times from the time that I was a child however, I never understood all of the dynamics of those events until many years later.

In John 11, there is record of a conversation Martha had with Jesus. This was during the sickness and subsequent death of her brother Lazarus. At Jesus' arrival, Martha had commented, that had Jesus been there earlier, her brother would not have died. Jesus had simply said that her brother would live again, and he did. What precedes this incident, can be found in Luke chapter 10. This conversation helped me to understand what it means to trust so completely, that worry drifts completely away. In Luke chapter 10, we can read the events that led to another interesting comment Jesus made to Martha:

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Martha and Mary, though both concerned with their guest, had completely different ways of interacting with that guest who was Jesus. Martha spent her time being busy with the chores and the home, ensuring that the guests were well taken care of. Whilst this is nothing to scoff at, it is clear that Mary rather chose to put aside worry and concern for her chores and become consumed with her Saviour Jesus. She had clearly made a decision, much to the chagrin of her sister, to really "visit" with Jesus rather than run around the house doing things that Jesus was not concerned with at that moment. Could it be that she recognised the urgency of the interaction, in that Jesus would not be with them much longer? I am not sure what might have been going on in the mind of this woman. However, what I am sure of, is that Mary spent her time in true interaction with her Lord and put aside the hustle, bustle and the worry of her day, to sit with her Lord and just listen.

This is the point at which, we can truly understand the emphasis with regard to what Jesus said to Martha.

Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her

He was reminding them both, though more specifically Martha, that worry was unnecessary at that time. The most important thing to do, was to listen to the Lord and what He had to share with them in words and deeds. This was especially true, as these experiences with Jesus, would be the part that they would remember and retell to others after His death and resurrection. Therefore, the fact that He would not be with them longer, was a significant reason to cherish His presence during that visit.

I believe, that if Martha had taken the time to understand the importance of the Saviour who was amongst them, she would have put aside her doubts and he worries to embrace Jesus.

What Jesus wants, is for us to listen and learn at His feet. He knows that we have trouble and sorrow, and worry. He also knows that we need hope in Him to lighten our burdens, and He want to lead us to that place of peace. We can learn to shed the worry by understanding that when Jesus is near, wanting to speak to us, there is no need for ceremony and pomp. Furthermore, there is no need to worry about the earthy and vain things that obscure our view of Him and deaden His voice. There is only a need to come, like Mary did, to sit and to listen.