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Monday, March 30, 2015

Soul Sisters Series # 8, The Needy Woman





Martha was the ultimate multitasker and it showed especially in her home. It was immaculate; no clutter, no dirty dishes, no dirty underwear lying around and no dust accumulating on the furniture. But the kitchen is where she really shined. Her dinner parties were legendary. The table was set beautifully, the food tasty and the conversation rich. 

Today was no different. Jesus and his disciples were visiting and staying for dinner. Martha bustled about preparing the entrees, humming as she worked. But her enthusiasm soon deteriorated into frustration as preparations came to a head. 

Normally her sister Mary helped her in the kitchen, but she hadn’t made an appearance yet, and Martha’s irritation mounted. Where is that woman? She couldn’t believe her eyes when she peered into the living room and saw Mary sprawled out at the feet of Jesus. How could she sit there and leave all the work to her? Had she lost her mind? Well, she would take care of this right now!

Martha burst into the living room, strode up to the infuriating scene and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 

Jesus looked full into her face, and gently answered, “Martha, Martha. 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.” 

                               ---------------------------------

I’ve read devotionals, books, and heard sermons based on this story countless times, yet it never ceases to touch me. Jesus’ words seem to tug at my heart and remind me of what is truly most important. 

I need to be reminded sometimes, because it’s so easy to get off track and get wrapped up in seemingly good things. Even church “stuff” can pull me away from Jesus. My daily responsibilities and the monotonous routine can tune out His voice calling me away to Himself. 

An incident with my husband brought this to light. An exhausting couple of weeks at our jobs pulled us apart. We just weren’t able to spend much time together. Add to that the unrelenting bitter January weather, fatigue, frustration and stress and you don’t exactly have an environment conducive to romance. 

I wasn’t helping matters much either. I was distant, distracted and too tired to make an effort. Finally one day he cornered me in the bathroom. “It sure would be nice to talk to you. It seems all I get lately is good morning, good night and a quick kiss. I want to know what happened to you today, about your friends and you. I want to talk to you.” 

His words completely disarmed me. I stood there humbled and amazed that he desired me that much. I apologized and that night we finally were able to spend time together and talk. It was wonderful to reconnect. 

Through this incident I heard another Voice say, “Now you know how I feel about you.” I realized anew how much my Beloved Jesus desires me to come and sit as His feet. A compelling verse in Song of Solomon 2:10+14 says this, “Arise my beloved, my beautiful one, come to Me. Show me your face. Let Me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.” 

Do you feel a tugging deep within, beloved of God as you read this? Your spirit yearns for Him. Have you been distant? Has distractions pulled you away? Is there a distinctive soul ache? You are lacking something that can only be found at His feet. 

Ironically even though I need Him so desperately, it can be a struggle to push away everything and go to Him. Can you identify? It seemed so much simpler when I was single and living with my parents. 

Within walking distance of my parent’s house is a large acreage of woods. I’d grab a dog and spend much of my afternoons there. I usually ended up on a log and for an undetermined amount of time this would be my leafy chapel. 

This unassuming place would be transformed into a Holy place. I poured out my heart, laid down burdens, waged spiritual battles, tears flowed and I heard His tender words of assurance. 

But I grew older, married, moved away and had a child. Those moments in the woods grew more infrequent. My times at His feet grew rarer as well. Sadly I became content with a surface relationship. 

I’m sorry to say it took crisis in my life for me to fall at His feet. My husband walked away from God. My mother suffered a brain aneurysm that left her disabled. My precious grandmother died unexpectedly. I had no control, no answers, and I was desperate for comfort. My heart was broken. 

Interesting enough, my search for consolation ended on a log in a small patch of woods. I was so lonely and hurt. With tears flowing, I cried out to Jesus, pleading for reassurance. Calm began to settle in my spirit. Then I heard a cardinal’s cheer, cheer, cheer nearby.  The red beauty flew closer until it was almost right above me. It kept up its sweet melody, never moving from its spot. 

My unassuming place in the woods was transformed into a Holy place. My precious Jesus met me there. I felt His presence so strongly. This was a turning point in my life. My relationship with Jesus deepened. I hungered for Him all the more. 

Over time I began to learn something special about that place at His feet. My moments with Jesus aren’t limited to leafy chapels. The feet of Jesus isn’t just a physical location, but a position of the spirit. 

It’s a place where I can go to pour out my heart. I can lay my head on His lap when I am soul weary. I can feel His touch and hear His voice. I can be myself and not fear rejection. It’s a Holy place of worship, whispered adorations, shouts of praise and a bursting heart of love. 

Just like the body yearns for food and water to sustain it, I can’t do without my Jesus for very long. I am undone without Him. I’m more self-centered, distant and distracted. The soul ache throbs within. 

It isn’t long before I hear His gentle voice wooing me back to Him. I hear Him say, “Child, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. What you receive there will never be taken away from you.” 

I see His open arms inviting me to come near. It’s time to quiet the noise, to shut out the pressing demands and enter into His presence. He waits for me. 


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