The Unexplainable is the Hand of God at Work

My family seems to be somewhat attuned to the supernatural. Whether it be dreams about those who have already passed on, strange encounters or unexplainable events. Since my great aunt died last week, strange encounters and unexplainable events are the case.

My dad called me last night to tell me about the events and I was brought to tears. Not because I was sad, but because I just felt an overwhelming presence of God and a feeling of such comfort. It is a moment I will likely never forget.

This is the first event that happened:

My great aunt was in the hospital and she took a turn for the worse. She has two daughters: one lives in the same city and the other lives about an hour away. When my aunt took a turn for the worse, the sister her sister that lives away to let her know that her mom was going to die soon. She was adamant that she would drive to try to make it before she died but the sister ensured her that she wouldn’t make it. And so they said their good-byes and hung up.

In the home of the sister who lives away, she has a glass patio and a deck. A few minutes after hanging up, she watched a deer walk up onto the patio, walk up to the door and look at her. She said, at that moment she knew her mom was gone. But at the same time, a peace came over her.

he called her sister and sure enough, her mom was gone.

This is the second event:

The family was at the sister’s house making arrangements for the funeral and the doorbell rang. They have the kind of doorbell that can be set to play a song of your choice and the sister has it set to “Star Spangled Banner”. When the doorbell went off, it played, “Joy to the World”. For some reason, they never thought anything of it. A few minutes later, the doorbell went off again and played “Joy to the World”. This time, my aunt’s husband got up to check and no one was at the door. He pressed the doorbell and it played “Star Spangled Banner” – the song it is set to in the first place.

This is a bit eery but comforting at the same time.

I look at this as the hand of God at work. Perhaps my aunt’s daughter needed to see that deer at the moment to have peace. Perhaps the doorbell went off without being pushed singing “Joy to the World” to let her family know that she is okay.

When things like this happen, it gives me the chills but also reminds me that God is in control and through faith in Him, I have hope for a future in heaven.

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“Gone Too Soon”

In reaction to the death of a young person, the initial response is usually something along the lines of, “gone too soon” or “died before their time”. But is there any truth to that?

I may be opening a can of worms here but I can’t help but get uncomfortable when I hear those two statements or any variation of them. When a young persons dies, did they really die before their time, are we just uncomfortable with the fact that young people die or are we trying to justify a young person’s death through the statements we say in reaction? (Or none of those things).

A good friend of mine took his own life a few years ago (4 years ago this November) and I remember the feelings that came with the grief. Not only was I mourning his loss, but it just didn’t feel right. From my perspective (and I’m sure many can relate to this), when a young person dies, it just doesn’t feel right. A young death stirs up an uneasiness within us that seems to perplex us and question their death. In comparison, when an elderly person dies, although grief happens, that same uneasiness and uncomfortable feelings associated with a young death do not necessarily come up.

For example, this summer I went home for a friend’s wedding and it just so happened that the three days I was home, a precious elderly man in my home church had died and his funeral was when I was home. At his funeral, one of the pastor’s that spoke said something that I have been thinking about ever since. He said, “I don’t think God created humans to be able to handle death.” He went on to say how when God initially created the first humans, we were created to be in God’s constant presence in the garden. Experiencing death was not in God’s original plan. How else do you explain Revelation 21:4 (this portion of Scripture is talking about what heaven will be like), “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

After hearing what this pastor had to say, I thought, “Huh, that is so true!” Humans don’t handle death well because God never created us to handle it whatsoever in the first place. Makes sense! Now I’m not trying to present the message that I know everything there is to know about God and death…I’m just putting my thoughts out there.

So now that I have ranted about all that is on my brain about this topic, my question is, even if someone dies young, does God already have determined when someone dies? Even if it seems untimely to us, is it all part of God’s providence? And then you can get into sticky topics of the way some young people die: car accidents, overdose, illness, suicide, etc…the list could go on and on.

Does God know already when He creates someone when they will die?

This is what I have found the Bible says:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)

“A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5)

All of these Bible passages connote the message that God knows; He determines when we will be born and when we will die. In Job, it specifically says, “a person’s days are determined.”

As humans and as Christians, I think we need to be at peace with the fact that we won’t always be at peace with all the mysterious questions of life. I’m perfectly content not knowing all the mysteries of the universe. As Isaiah 55:8 says, “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways.” Although I don’t have all the answers, I’m okay with that because I try my best to put my full trust in God and let life happen as it will happen because I know God is in control.

God bless ❤

Watching Birds Eat Reminds Me I Shouldn’t Worry

I used to be a worry wart. I worried, stress and was anxious about many and mostly all things. The only reason I’m not a worry wart today is because of God.

It wasn’t an instant thing. It’s not like the instant that I decided to give my life to God, I immediately stopped worrying about things. No. But rather, He gave me a peace about things that I would normally worry about.

Jesus paints beautiful pictures in the Bible by speaking in parables and using imagery when He speaks. One of these verses is Matthew 26:6

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

That paints a beautiful picture for me and that image has been burned in my mind. Now, each time I see birds eating, I am reminded of how I really don’t need to worry about things. God takes care of all the birds by giving them what they need in life so who am I to not have confidence in God that He will do the same for me?

God takes care of me. He always provides for me when I am in need and I am never without anything.

With Jesus in my heart, I have this unexplainable peace. Only those who have Him in their heart would be able to understand. If you have not asked Jesus into your heart, all you have to do is simply believing in Him. John 3:16 says, “Whoever believes in me shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” In other words, if you genuinely believe in Jesus and that He died on the cross for you, then when you die, you get to spend eternity in heaven with Him. It’s so simple.

By doing so, you will experience the peace I am talking about. I wouldn’t want life any other way.

Confidence is Better than Hoping

The other day God answered one of my prayers. It caught me off guard. Not because He answered but rather I realized that my confidence in God is lacking.

My husband and I work about a 25 minute drive from where we live and usually we only have to travel there 2 – 3 times per week because we only work part time. This week, however is an extremely busy week as we are heading up Daily Vacation Bible School, we have Youth Group and we have meetings. So in total, we have to travel to work 8 times. Four times the usual.

Well, I was a bit concerned about gas and how we were going to put gas in our tank and stay within our budget. So I prayed that God would somehow help us put gas in our tank this week. I had no idea where the money was going to come from but I still prayed that God would help somehow.

Surprisingly, our credit card has been a blessing. Every time we spend $1 we get points and after so many points, you are able to redeem the points for money, gift cards or merchandise. We had enough points to get $50 gas gift card…however, the shipping time was 4 – 6 weeks L not so helpful in out time of need.

A few days later, Evan came upstairs from our mailbox with a grey envelope with my name on it. It was the $50 gift card! The shipping took an unusual few days when it was suppose to take 4 – 6 weeks! Coincidence? I think not!

I didn’t just “happen” to pray that God would help us with gas money this week. We didn’t just “happen” to have enough points on our credit card to redeem it for a $50 gas gift card. The gas card didn’t just “happen” to arrive within a few days of ordering when it should have taken 4 – 6 weeks. The gas card didn’t just “happen” to arrive the week before we needed help with gas.

What I am trying to get at is this: when I see answers to pray in my life, there are to many factors for me to justify the answer to prayer with coincidence. This recent answer to prayer in my life is too specifically answered to justify it with coincidence. I can only justify that specific answer to prayer by turning to God.

When we pray and we ask God to help us with something, we often do not have confidence in God. In other words, we “hope” that He will answer our prayers rather than having confidence that He will answer our prayers.

Having said this, answers to prayer most of the time do not always look like how we want them to be answered. For example, a loved one may be sick and we may ask God to heal that person and then they die. I don’t consider this an unanswered prayer but rather God healed that loved one in a different way. If they went to heaven after dying, they would be healed as they would be free of pain and sickness. Sometimes God says no too. We just have to have an open mind when we pray.

We need to trust God. We need to pray and be open to whatever way He may answer our prayers. It is His will, not our own.

Connecting Mind, Body and Spirit

Okay folks, I’m really putting myself out there in this post so I hope it is some help and a blessing to whomever may read it!

I used to have a very poor relationship with my body. I’ve never been overweight but I definitely had a poor body image…as do many other girls who are pressured by society to look a certain way. I was constantly looking in the mirror and never satisfied with what I saw. I obviously had a distorted body image because others saw me as a very petite person; it’s just the way God made me. But I wasn’t okay with the body gave me and I wanted to change it. So I deprived myself of food (I did not starve myself but I was obsessed with limiting my food intake to only lean foods and exercising an insane amount each day). Looking back, I was on the verge of an eating disorder, specifically, orthoexia nervosa, I newly termed eating disorder which begins by innocently eating more healthy which develops into an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy.

I have come to learn how ridiculous it is that society pushes on girls constantly about how they body “should” look; whatever that means. I have come to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I will admit, I have a sweet tooth and I indulge in sweet things (particularly anything with chocolate, peanut butter or cinnamon) from time to time but I make sure those sweet things are not processed and filled with nasty preservatives.

I have found the closer I get to God, the more confidence I gain in my body imagine.

I was listening to a sermon on the radio the other day and the man that was speaking said, “it’s funny how the closer we get to God, the more loud our sin is.” That is funny isn’t it? The closer I get to God, the more aware I become of the sin in my life. My obsession with the way I looked was a sin in my life…I was putting my body image before God. Once I realized this a few years back, I started to change. Just like any other obsession, it wasn’t a quick process but rather quite slow.

I have done four things over the past couple of years to help remove the obsession with my body image from my life:

  1. Stop looking in the mirror and picking myself apart. (Note – I have to be mindful of this most of the time).
  2. Find an exercise routine I enjoy. It took some experimenting but I have finally found an exercise routine that I look forward to. In other words, exercising no longer feels like a chore. Over the past year, Pilates has been my go-to workout routine, using the workout calendar from Blogilates. I needed something that was constantly different because if I’m constantly doing the same thing, or just going to the gym everyday, I get bored. Especially being a student and having a hectic schedule, being able to workout in the comfort of my own home on my own schedule fits my life perfectly. Finding an exercise routine that fits you is key. It takes some experimenting but once you’ve found it, you’ll know, and exercising will be so much more enjoyable.
  3. Change healthy eating and eating and using natural products as a change in lifestyle. I am very conscious of what enters my body and try my very best to eat natural real foods. As it states in the name of my blog, this is my body and His home so I am going to take the best care I possibly can through exercise and eating well. God has given me the gift of life and He has given me this gift in this body so the least I can do is do my very best to take care of it.
  4. Coming to realize that God made me in His image. He created my body and it is just the way He wanted it to be. God wants me to enjoy life, and to the fullest and I can enjoy life fully by nourishing my mind, body and spirit. I’ve been experimenting while exercising lately by involving prayer and meditation into my exercise time. While I exercise, I make a point to really feel my muscles moving as I exercise and it somehow connects my spirit to my body. I have also been praying as I exercise (specifically using Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer). As I pray and concentrate on feeling my muscles as they move, it feels as though my mind, body and spirit are working together.

Now, I’m not saying I have this all down to an art. I admit, it is a process but God is walking beside me every step of the way. And if you are struggling with a poor body image, know that God is walking beside you every step of the way. He also wants you to enjoy life but how can we enjoy life is we are so obsessed with how we look? I hope this post will be a blessing to someone out there.

“Life Isn’t A Puzzle You Have To Figure Out On Your Own”

I used to get so overwhelmed when I heard teens I work with or other people in my life say something along the lines of, “I just wish I knew what God’s will for my life is!?” What does that even mean?! How can we even know something like that? How can we, humans, know what God has planned for us? The simple answer is, there is no way.

I used to get so overwhelmed because I was making God way more complicated than He is.

When I first became a Youth Pastor, I was extremely overwhelmed. I knew that perhaps this is not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but this is where God has me NOW and I am okay with that. Having said that, I absolutely LOVE my job but I’m also completely okay knowing that this is temporary and this is where God has put me for now. I’m totally okay with that.

After I graduated from my undergrad, I was yet again, overwhelmed. Surprise, surprise. There are so many options out there and I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t have the slightest clue if I was doing the right thing in pursuing my MDiv. The deciding factor for me was not getting into the Social Work program, but I was accepted (with $4000 renewable scholarship) to the MDiv program at Acadia University. To me, that was an open door that God wanted me to walk through. I never really saw myself in seminary before but I had to trust God and know that He knew what would happen when I walked through that door.

When I started school, I met this professor whom I love dearly and she talked to me when I was having difficulty settling in. I remember saying to her, “I don’t know if counseling is where God wants me to go. I just want to do whatever He wants me to do.” And honestly, her response has changed me. She said, “I really don’t think God plans our lives like a puzzle that He sets in front of us and we have to figure out on our own how to put it together.” I’ve been thinking about that statement ever since she said it to me.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? God doesn’t create us to throw us out to the wolves with no sense of direction. HE is our sense of direction. I believe there is a puzzle (from a human’s perspective) that we do have to figure out, but if you have God in your life, you don’t have the burden to figure it out on your own.

God has a plan for everyone’s life and it’s comforting to know that He knows that plan. The thing is, as a Christian, God wants me to trust Him and part of that is being okay with the fact that I don’t know what the plan of my life is, but He does.

So what does it mean follow God’s will for your life? To me, I’ve come to learn that God opens doors and He closes doors. The Bible says so. Revelation 3:7-8 says, “these are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

In other words, as child actress, Baliee Madison once said, “God gave me this (her acting career) and He can just as easily take it away and I have to be okay with that.”

When God is a part of your life, there’s great comfort in knowing that He’s in control, He knows what the future holds, and He knows the plans He has for your life. Of course your life has a purpose or else He wouldn’t have created you in the first place. Think about that. There may be a puzzle to figure out, but you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Let life happen as it will happen. God’s in control and He just so happens to know what He’s doing. I don’t need to know what my life looks like 10 or 5 or even 2 years down the road because He already knows! If I put too much focus on the future and what it may hold, I take away from the present and am no longer living life to the fullest by cherishing each moment.

There is a puzzle to this thing called life but I have God by my side helping me put it together each step of the way. God opens doors and He closes doors. And I’m okay with that.

Where Are Your Priorities?

(This is from a sermon I did August 10, 2014)

The American Bible Society recently released the results of an annual study that monitors beliefs and behaviors of U.S. adults toward the Bible. Christianity Today reported that while some of the 2014 results were not surprising given the nature of society and busy lifestyles, they found that more than 88 percent of American families own a Bible with most having four or more on their bookshelves. But only 37 percent of those adults read a Bible more than once a week. In 2011, 86 percent of adults surveyed viewed the Bible as sacred – a number which dropped to 79 percent in 2014.

More than 47 percent of Bible readers said their #1 frustration on the topic was never having enough time to read scriptures. More than 81 percent of Americans surveyed believe that the values and morals of America are declining, but in 2014, it was found that participants were more likely to blame this decline on movies, music and television rather than lack of Bible reading.

There are even devotionals that Christians can buy that specifically target those with “busy lifestyles”.

I read an article recently that announced that Scottish researchers have recently diagnosed a brand new syndrome called “Busy Lifestyle Syndrome” This syndrome is caused by those who lead very busy lifestyles and give themselves little to no rest. Symptoms include: small frequent memory lapses, like forgetting why you entered a room, why you pulled your phone out, where you left the remote, etc. You may feel aloof and confused with too many tasks to juggle during the day. You may also feel emotionally overwhelmed and may have difficulty dealing with stress. This article also assured the reader that it’s okay to have Busy Lifestyle Syndrome; just take a break or vacation.

But the last time I checked, Western culture is a very busy and hectic culture. Everyone is always busy and agendas are always full. To be honest, I am most definitely a product of our culture and furthermore, when I am not busy, I have to find a task that will keep me busy or I simply just do not know what to do with myself.

When you step back and look at the big picture, all things in life can be a distraction. It just so happens that in our culture, the busy-ness of our culture is a huge distraction. Most of the time, we don’t even realize that it is a distraction. But a distraction to what?

In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus is comparing Mary and Martha and asks Martha what really matters. Martha was distracted by the busy-ness of preparations for the meal, which distracted her from her spiritual health. As Christians, much of what fills our schedules is things for God, like helping out with something at the church, showing God’s love by spending time with someone who is going through tough times right now, helping people do some yard work, and simply living our daily lives and letting Christ shine through you. I think we can all identify with Martha; where would the church be without all of its Marthas? But surprisingly, Jesus is telling Martha to get her priorities straight.

Jesus puts into perspective for Martha about why she needed to set her priorities straight. I found a letter written by a college student to her parents who goes above and beyond to try to put into perspective for her parents why they need to set their priorities straight. As I read this, for all of those here today who have daughters, try to put yourself in the shoes of the parents who received this letter and bare with me:

Dear mum and dad,

It has been nearly three months since I left for college. I have been remiss in writing, and I am very sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now; but, before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down. Okay.

Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival are pretty well healed now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital, and now I can see almost normally and only get those sick headaches once a day.

Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory and my jump were witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me at the hospital; and, since I had nowhere to live because of the burnt out dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It’s really a basement room, but it’s kind of cute.

He is a very fine boy, and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven’t set the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show. Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents, and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion you gave me when I was a child.

The reason for the delay in our wedding date is that Michael has some very large debts from his three previous marriages that he needs to work off before we can afford to be married.

Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not get a concussion or a skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, and there is no one in my life. However, I am getting a “D” in History and an “F” in Science, and I wanted you to see these marks in the proper perspective.

Your loving daughter,
 Edna

In her own unique way, Edna went all out and above and beyond to try to show her parents that although she flunked History and Science, things could be a lot worse. She was simply trying to tell her parents to get their priorities straight.

I very much doubt Jesus walked away from that meal with Martha and Mary completely awestruck by all of the preparations and how good the food was. But I bet Jesus walked away from the meal with a strong impression of who had their priorities straight. Was it Martha who spent her time worried and distracted by the busy-ness of the preparations in the kitchen? Or was it Mary who spent her time at Jesus’ feet, spending quality time with Him by listening to what He had to say? In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus was asking Martha what really mattered: that Mary wasn’t helping her with the meal preparations or that Mary had chosen to do what is better, spending time and listening to Jesus.

Speaking for myself and I’m sure many here today, we can all identify with Martha; if not now, sometime in the past. When I read this story about the meal Jesus had with Martha and Mary, I took some time to really reflect on how I spend my time. Am I like Martha who is caught up in the busy-ness of life including doing this FOR God? Or am I taking the time to purposely spend quality time with God by reading His word and talking to Him through prayer.

In our own cultural context, most people are forced into busy lifestyles. Our lives usually have a busy schedule with activities of good merit or something that is worthy of your time or else it wouldn’t be in your schedule in the first place. Our schedules are often prioritized; some things come high on the list and other things must wait. Sometimes our priorities must be shuffled to meet needs at last minute. This is found in the story of Martha and Mary when Martha invited Jesus into her home for a meal as a guest.

The fact that this story has not one but two women in the story would have been shocking in its 1st C context because women were of little importance in society. The fact that Jesus commends Mary and has a meal with Mary and Martha shows that Jesus is concerned about all people. Therefore given the cultural context, the fact that there are two women in the story and given that Jesus is actually giving them his time, this story is obviously designed to make a strong point about all disciples.

This story shouldn’t be read in a way that frowns upon Martha…what Jesus is trying to show Martha is the difference between something good and something better. As Martha works away in the kitchen preparing the meal for Jesus, I can imagine that her frustration toward Mary was rising and rising until she just blew up. As Martha is getting all the preparations ready for the meal, Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him and Martha is not going to have it! She says to Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” Verse 40 says that Martha was distracted by all the preparations and so her point of view is questionable not only by Jesus’ reply but also she made the comment while she was “distracted by all the preparations.” To further emphasize her questionable comment, in the Greek, Martha asks this question in a way that Jesus is expected to have a positive answer. In other words, according to the original Greek, Martha makes the comment fully expecting Jesus to tell Mary to get up and help.

Knowing this, Jesus’ response would have taken her by surprise. He responds tenderly by saying “Martha, Martha” which shows that He cares. He says, “You are worried and upset about many things.” Put another way, Jesus questions her not because of her activity but because of her attitude about it. Jesus compares what Martha is doing and what Mary is doing. One is concerned about the preparations of the meal and one is concerned about listening to Jesus. In other words, one is concerned about doing things for Jesus and the other is concerned about spending time with Jesus. Jesus sets priorities and says, “only one is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus is telling Martha to get her priorities straight. Mary is essentially taking part in the “right meal”. What she has done by sitting at Jesus’ feet will remain with her; what she has spent her time doing will last. Jesus is not condemning Martha’s activity but more so commending Mary’s choice of activity. He is showing Martha that Mary’s priorities are in order.

As Christ’s disciples, of course He wants us to do things for Him. But he also wants us to spend time with Him. Jesus wants us to sit at his feet like Mary and devour His teaching. There is no more important meal than that. Doing things for God is of course good, but if we get caught up in those things and they get in the way of us spending time with Him, then those things become a distraction.

Now, I want to emphasize that I am not discouraging anyone from doing things for God, the church (and when I say the church, I mean the body of believers gathered here), needs its Marthas…those faithful followers who clearly have such a big heart for God and want to live their lives for Him and do things for Him. What I am trying to say is that it is just as important to check our priorities to ensure we are not neglecting what Jesus says is even better. Mary and Martha both loved Jesus dearly. In this passage, Martha was doing things for Jesus and Mary was spending time with Jesus. Sometimes we can get so caught up in doing things for Christ that we become distracted and neglect the most important thing of all: spending time with Jesus.

It is true that much of our busyness and distraction stems from the noblest of intentions. We want to provide for our families, we want to give our children every opportunity to enrich their lives, we want to serve our neighbors, and yes, we want to serve God. Indeed, where would the church be without its “Marthas,” those faithful folk who perform the tasks of hospitality and service so vital to making the church a welcoming and well-functioning community?

Matthew 4:4 says, “It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” In other words, we cannot only feed our physical bodies and neglect our souls…our souls need food and that food comes from the Word of God. Martha was distracted from her soul’s need for spiritual food. What distracted her are not bad things. I think I would be safe to say that even if our schedules are filled with good things, sometimes even the good things are a distraction, which causes us to neglect our souls.

“But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about so many things.” We all know people who are worried and upset about many things. Or maybe you are worried and upset about many things. It’s an inevitable consequence of our hectic busy culture. As we learned earlier, there is even a newly discovered syndrome called “Busy Lifestyle Syndrome” that is caused by too much stress, too much worry and quite simply getting caught up in all the busy-ness.

Martha is certainly a stressed out lady at this point in time. Her exasperation can be seen in the way she forms her question, “Lord, do You not care…?” Of course He does! But not nearly as much about the problem as Martha sees it as He does about the real problem of which Martha is unaware. Jesus is more concerned about Martha’s priorities than He is about being served food.

According to Jesus, what Mary had chosen, spending time with Him, was better. In our culture, it is common to hear the phrase, “I’m too busy”. But if we are so busy that it distracts us from spending time with God, then perhaps we may need to reflect on where our priorities are. If our relationship with God consisted mainly on doing things for Him while neglecting spending time with Him, then we are not experiencing life as He has planned for us.

Have you ever went a day or perhaps even a few days without opening your Bible or talking to God? I really don’t recommend it…but if you’ve been there, you can speak to the difference it makes in your day.

In John 10:10, Jesus says that He has come so that we may have life and have it in abundance; in other words, until it overflows and is contagious to others. God wants us to enjoy life but life cannot be fully enjoyed if we are caught up in the busy-ness of life and neglecting time spent with God. The truth is, God wants you to enjoy your life every day. This clearly tells us that God doesn’t just want us to be alive, but He wants us to enjoy being alive.

A recent survey determined how the average person spends their time and the results really make you think. In a lifetime, the average person will spend:

6 months sitting at stoplights

8 months opening junk mail

1 year looking for misplaced objects

2 years unsuccessfully returning phone calls

4 years doing housework

5 years waiting in line

And 6 years eating

Both listening and doing, receiving God’s Word and serving others, are vital to the Christian life, just as inhaling and exhaling are to breathing. Yet how often do we forget to breathe in deeply? Doing things for God without nourishing our soul by spending time with God is like expecting good fruit to grow from a tree that is undernourished.

Luke’s story is left suspended. We do not know what happened next — whether Mary and Martha were reconciled, whether they were all able to enjoy the meal that Martha had prepared, whether Martha was finally able to sit and give her full attention to Jesus. But what we do know is that God doesn’t want us to be “too busy” to spend time with Him. He wants us to spend time with Him, know that we are His loved and valued children. He wants us to be renewed in our faith and strengthened to do work for Him.

Jesus wants us to set our priorities straight if other things are distracting you from spending time with Him. Doing things for Him is so very important but if those things are getting in the way of spending time with Him, Jesus says we need to set our priorities straight. Remember, Jesus wasn’t condemning Martha, we need to be like Martha and have a genuine heart for God and do things for Him but we also must not neglect to be like Mary and nourish our souls by spending time with Him. American writer and editor, Carl Sanburg, once said, “time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.” Like Jesus said to Martha, “…few things are needed or indeed only one” and that thing is paying attention to our guest. As Christians, Christ lives within us so as it turns out, our guest is also our host.