The Hard, Hard Work of Rest

Back to the subject of drifting versus stillness:  I don’t want to drift, that’s for sure!  I’m not sure that drifting is my bigger problem.  My problem is that I fear drifting so much that I am addicted to busyness (which in turn becomes my operating definition of success: how much I accomplish for the Kingdom). 

Rest is harder work than working sometimes.

I say I desire stillness before the Lord.  But the truth is, it scares me silly.  For every Christian who has ever experienced true stillness, it can bring about the same kind of discomfort that silence does.  Maybe that was Martha’s problem too.  It was far easier to work hard than do the hard, hard work of rest.

Luke 10: 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I’d probably be quicker to blame Martha for busyness saying, “Come’on.  Jesus is there!  Can’t you at least sit and listen to Him???” except that Jesus is there!  Time to give Him your very best. 

It can be discomforting to set aside your very best in service to the King (what you want to do for Him) …and instead do the hard, hard work of rest, to listen to Him, and learn from Him.

It must have been difficult to hear Jesus say that what Mary had chosen to do (rest and listen) was better than your offering Him your best as an unbridled act of lavish graciousness.  I’m sure the tone of Jesus’ voice was not a condemning one, but the wise voice of One who understood what would profit Martha more.  He needed her to focus on seeing that He was setting the example by sacrificing His BEING served in order to serve those He loved (Mark 10:45). 

It was a valuable lesson shown demonstrably in Martha’s home before visible to all on the Cross, a useful lesson for understanding His fullest ministry.  And for now, it was far more important to learn what He was doing which would provide the backdrop for what He would commission all His disciples to do (go to work hard for Christ) after His death.  Rest, Martha.  Listen … and learn.  The work will still be there tomorrow.

The Simple Truth is that “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  Even the hard, hard work of rest.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on May 13, 2018

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