Wow! Can you believe it is already March? 2020 forced everyone to slow down, but this year feels like the days are just passing by so quickly! Despite lockdowns, lives seem busier than ever. There are so many things going on—the world events, juggling your schedule with work and family under the same roof, uncertainties in the current economic state, new variants of the virus, and the list can go on and on. This is the time we must seek peace intently in every moment. Not just for our own well-being but also for us to bring peace and light in this chaotic world.
In Luke 10:38-42, the story of Martha and Mary gives us a lesson about seeking peace by choosing our priorities.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Often, we can relate to Martha. She was so distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. This did not really make her bad, because she just wanted to be a great host. She just wanted the best, at least what she thought was the best, but Jesus preferred otherwise.
Our minds can be so caught up with all the things that need to be done. We think about our children’s schoolwork, our own work, our daily meal, the Covid situation, our health, our loved ones’ well-being, our future and so on. And those are important—but Jesus said in Luke 10:41:
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
In the Passion Translation (TPT), it says:
The Lord answered her, “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.”
Jesus called Martha twice. That is significant because He was calling to her attention. What if Jesus just wanted Martha to open the door to let Him in? And like Martha, what if Jesus is calling you today just to pause for a minute and just sit by His feet? When you sit by Jesus’ feet, peace comes—the peace that surpasses all understanding. He is the Prince of Peace after all (Isaiah 9:6).
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. - Isaiah 26:3
ACTION POINTS TO TAKE
1.Pause and be still.
Exodus 14:14 (KJV) : The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Are you overwhelmed with everything that is on your plate? Be encouraged to take a minute. Be still. Breathe—breathe in the grace of God and breathe out the gratitude for all the incredible things He has blessed you with. You can cry out to Him and trust Him, for He hears you and fights your battles.
2. Exchange your anxious thoughts for gratitude.
Colossians 3:15 (AMP): Let the peace of Christ [the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him] be the controlling factor in your hearts [deciding and settling questions that arise]. To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers]. And be thankful [to God always].
When worry starts to rise inside of you, remember that God is on your side. He holds the whole world in His hands, and He is with you in every step of the way. Remember His goodness and promises in your life, and let your hearts be filled with gratitude.
When you take gratitude like your 5-a-day, everything gets better! It may not necessarily change your situation, but gratitude shifts your focus. You can focus on the things God has blessed you with and not so much on the things that are going on around you. You acknowledge that God, Who is great and mighty, is for you!
3.Assess what you have been feeding your soul.
If you are feeling drained, maybe it is time to assess what you have been feeding your soul. Are you feeding it with all the news today or His word? It is so easy to scroll through social media and watch all the news. It is good to be informed, but if that is what you do all the time, you might end up feeling drained. We must guard our peace through Christ Jesus and that is done by spending time with Him. Whether it is by listening to a podcast while going for a walk, spending time in prayer when you wake up, reading a Bible story with your children, or just meditating on a verse in your Bible app during your lunch break, do it!
John 14:27 (NLT): I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
To receive God’s gift—peace of mind and heart, we must take responsibility and make room for Him every day. And when we do, fear leaves, and peace comes.
4.Choose to rest.
When we hear the word ‘rest’, we usually think, “I would love to, but I don’t have the time” or it could be that we have a mindset of ‘rest is for the weak’. Whatever you think about this, rest is important! We must find pockets of rest during the week and not wait for Saturday or Sunday to come before we decide to rest.
Rest might look different to everyone. Some might find rest when they sleep, some go for a run, some spend intentional time with loved ones, some bake… whatever rest looks like for you, take it. This is good for you. Just take note, the rest that sustains you long term is deeper than these activities. You find that rest in God.
Psalm 23: 1-3 (NLT):
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
When we let the peace of God come in our lives, rest follows. We are welcome to rest in Him. Instead of worry and doubt, there is rest. Instead of chaos, there is rest. Choose to rest.
Let go of your worries now and experience peace.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV): For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Cling to the promises of God and keep trusting. His thoughts toward you are of peace and not of evil, a hope and a future. He is faithful to do what He has promised!
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked TPT are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.
Scripture quotations marked KJV are from The Authorized (King James) Version. Rights in the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom are vested in the Crown. Reproduced by permission of the Crown’s patentee, Cambridge University Press.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scriptures marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible Classic, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)