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Sierra Pines Church

12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

There is so much that steals our focus, so much that robs our peace and distracts us from what is important in our lives. There are even distractions that seem noble like doing a good job.

Luke 10: 39-40 tells us this story about Jesus as He visited His friends in Bethany. “And Mary…sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  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!’”

I have an ambitious missionary friend who said, “If Mary has gotten in that kitchen and helped Martha, they both could have been at Jesus feet.”  But those of us who have difficulty with patience, if we are honest, we know that there is always a distraction, always something else that needs to be done.  The urgent tends to supersede the important. We have to choose.  Mary chose what is better—something that could outlast the temporary, something that could not be taken from her.  Mary had her priorities straight.  She didn’t let the immediate crowd out the eternal.

Martha was majoring on minors: “How do I look to everyone here.  Will I impress my guests as the best Martha Stewart of Bethany?” We can find ourselves there can’t we? 

In verses 41-42, Jesus addresses His flustered friend: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The words worried and upset in the KJV are care-filled and troubled. That’s the word tarazo  in the Greek, and it means to stir up or upset, like in John 5 when the angels stirred up or upset the waters at the Pool of Bethesda.

But that’s not the word Jesus used here.  In this verse the word used is—“Toorbadso.” It means to make trouble! Jesus is saying, “Martha, Martha, Martha, you are making way too much trouble for yourself.”

Martha needed to serve store-bought and sit at the feet of Jesus!

In what ways do we make trouble for ourselves: Needing to impress the Jones?

Do we make trouble investing in how we look—being just the right weight, having the right wardrobe, the perfect designer purse?  Do we major on minors making trouble for ourselves as we strive for the nice house in the perfect neighborhood or the new car? Do we kill ourselves to get the promotion all the while missing out on choosing what is better like Mary did?

When we spend time in the Lord’s presence, considering Him in the decisions of our lives and not running ahead of Him, we are choosing the better way. It’s focusing our lives around His purposes and letting Him dictate those for us.  We follow Him in obedience and He provides the peace and satisfaction.  But we don’t get there without spending quality time just listening to Him, not doing, just being in His presence.

I am learning and I hope this inspires you too!



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