“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’” (Luke 10:41-42).
Jesus and his twelve disciples were traveling to Jerusalem when they stopped at the town of Bethany. A dear friend named Martha had opened her home to them. It was a very gracious thing to do, especially considering how many extra mouths it would be to feed. It’s not like she would be able to order pizza for supper! She was surely aware of the extra work it would require of her.
A lot of preparations had to be made! She woke up early and started soup. Next she made a list of all the food she’d make that day. It made her heart flutter, but she knew God would help her. She bravely went to the well for plenty of water (much more than normal), then she took a quick trip to the market for some purchases before it got too hot.
But it did get hot! By the time she got home, her hair was sticking to her face. Never mind, she thought, as she started chopping vegetables.
As she worked, her mind was racing, thinking through every detail of the evening’s meal and tomorrow’s breakfast. She fully intended to have everything ready by the time Jesus and his disciples arrived that afternoon, but it just wasn’t possible. She warmly hugged all the guests, got them drinks, and washed their feet, then she scurried back to the kitchen.
She tried not to feel a little envious of her sister Mary, who had admittedly helped her quite a bit that day but was now sitting next to Jesus’ feet, listening to all that He said. Martha could hear a little bit of the conversation, but it was tough with the gurgling pots on the stove making too much noise.
After supper, it was back in the kitchen to do dishes – a lot of them! The sun had long ago set and yet the plates were stacked. Furthermore, she had run out of clean water and would need to make a trip to the well before she could even start. Her feet ached and her back protested.
She heard laughter coming from the other room.
That’s it! She dried her hands on the towel and threw it down, marching angrily up to her sister.
“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
The room was instantly quiet. All the men were sympathetic, and Mary looked embarrassed. She hadn’t intended to hurt her sister. It was just that she knew that visits were Jesus were few and far between. She badly wanted to learn as much as she could from Him. Dishes would be harder to scrub tomorrow, but still… they would wait, wouldn’t they?
Jesus’ answer was kind. “Martha, Martha.” Just saying her name twice helped Martha calm down. She knew He really cared about her and loved her.
“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.”
Dear homeschooling mother, Jesus is saying the same thing to you today. You also are worried and upset about many things. Maybe your feet ache. Maybe you worry about how you’re going to pay for it all.
However, in the midst of the chaos, you can make a choice. You can choose what is better.
What is this “better” thing? Simply, it’s time with Jesus.
Last week, you made a list of all the things that are causing you anxiety. Then you chose to pray and give them all over to God, asking for His wisdom and peace.
He might not make the work go away. He might not miraculously heal you or make your struggles disappear. However, He wants to offer you something better. He offers you Himself.
When the panic hits, choose to let it go. Put your dish towel down, and go to Jesus. Get alone with Him. The dishes can wait.