Rest Is Found in The Lord
I am trying to be more intentional with my quiet time.
The world is loud, and I have so many ideas capturing my attention. So many people and tasks pulling me this way and that way.
Honestly, in this season I have good things that are taking up my time.
Well, things that I could justify in my flesh as being “good.”
But schedules and priorities can get out of control easily.
I wake each day with good intentions to sit with the Lord, plans to spend adequate amounts of time praying and in His word. But more often than I would like to admit, before I know it, evening come’s and I fall back in bed exhausted. I realize the day flew by and I pushed aside the one thing that was meaningful, indeed the only thing needed (Luke 10:42).
I am sure you may be familiar with the story of Mary and Martha found in the book of Luke. If not or if you just want to revisit the short story, you can find it in Luke 10:38-42.
I have heard and read the story of Mary and Martha so many times, but as I recently read the bible story and then explanation in the book called, How to Worship Jesus Christ, by Joseph S. Carroll, the bible lesson became clearer than ever and at a time in my life where I really needed the revelation!
As we know Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus. When He came to their home to visit one day Martha was so worried about tasks that she became frustrated with her sister Mary who was not sharing in her busyness. Instead of helping Martha with all the chores she was sitting at Jesus’s feet, listening to Him (Luke 10:39).
When Martha came to Jesus complaining and asking Him to tell Mary to help, Jesus’s reply is captivating.
Luke 10:41-42 NIV
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Did you catch that?
Only one thing is needed.
Only one thing is necessary.
One thing can change everything.
Mary sat at Jesus’s feet and listened.
She chose Jesus.
I personally have had a tough time quieting my mind lately when I intend to pray. I have a prayer journal where I have all the prayer requests from others whom I love and care about and desire to pray for.
But sometimes the amount of prayers in that book, causes me to become so overwhelmed with emotion and grief that my mind flies around wondering how I can even begin.
My mind itself becomes too busy to even pray.
This often leaves me frustrated and I walk away with a feeling of defeat from my lack of control over my own loud mind.
Carroll’s book helped me to remember that although it is good to call out the names of others whom you are praying for and the requests for miracles that we know God can grant, He does not “need” one word uttered from our mouths.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
Psalm 139:4 NIV
This verse alone gives me rest and permission to simply come before the Lord and sit at His feet.
In the bible God commands, desires, and teaches us to pray, so obviously we should make time for prayer and worship.
But sometimes my soul is so troubled and tired that I can do nothing but sit before the Lord and raise my prayer journal up to Him.
And that’s ok.
Jesus tells us in the story of Mary and Martha that sitting at His feet is the one thing needed.
He already knows my heart, and what is written in my journal.
This helps me understand that what the Lord wants from me is for me to worship by bowing down and recognizing His existence as my Heavenly Father.
Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
Psalm 95:6 NIV
So, even though the world can be loud, we can quiet our minds and souls by simply being in His presence.
Is it hard for you to find time to stop and rest in the presence of God?
Is the world’s pressure for more striving taking a toll on your peace?
I feel it, I hear it.
Busyness can feel right if we tell ourselves were doing all things for the glory of God.
The truth is, if we are truly doing all things for the glory of God, we are going to have to slow down and sit at His feet.
Listen to Him.
Rest in Him.
When we obey and do as Mary did it is better for me and you and everyone around us.
In the book, Carroll shares this quote from Oswald Chambers.
Worshipping God is the great essential of fitness. If you have not been worshipping…, when you get into work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you.
We worship by showing reverence and adoration to the God who created the universe.
Friend, when we sit with Jesus in our quiet time, we are worshipping.
We can then carry His peace with us into the world.
And just maybe, in doing so, the presence of our very soul can cultivate a movement of rest in our homes, neighborhoods, churches, workplaces, and communities through the peace we carry in us, from Jesus Christ.
This is a rest only He can bring.
So, when you find yourself caught up in doing, exhausted from all the tasks that lie ahead in your mind, I encourage you to remember.
but few things are needed-or indeed only one.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
I pray you receive your rest in Jesus.
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