Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday's with Jesus #152

#152 "Remember Martha"
June 17, 2008
"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)
I "googled" the word "worry" this morning and my search turned up 171 million results. That's 171 plus 6 zeros! One of the sites that I happened to click on dealt with how to be free from worry, and a tip they encouraged was to "rearrange your mental furniture." In essence, the suggestion was to write your concern on a worry list and choose to worry about it later. You could pick another time to worry and then postpone it again at a later date. If you're lucky you'd forget that worry altogether.
Call it being apprehensive. Call it concern. Call it being anxious or bothered. Call it a burden, a trouble or a sense of uneasiness. Worry by any other name is still worry. Worry is focusing your attention on something moodily or at length (Roget's II: The New Thesaurus). I heard someone once define worry as worshiping the words of the enemy. Ouch!
I do not agree with, nor do I endorse any of the secular methods for beating worry. But I DO like the term, "rearranging your mental furniture." That term, found on a secular website, is quite biblical. Watch this..."be made new in the attitude of your minds." (Ephesians 4: 23) Watch again..."Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world (the methods of secular websites, I might add), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12: 2) If that's not rearranging your mental furniture, I don't know what is.
I was running out of quiet time this morning, listing all of my concerns and cares, one by one, in the presence of the Lord. Okay, let me be honest and call it like it was. I was worrying. Valid concerns. Understandable anxiety in anyone's book. But worry by any other name.... The difference between any method of beating worry that the world wants to serve me, and God's way of doing things, became abundantly clear when my Father said, "Remember Martha."
Fast and furious, my fingers turned the pages of my Bible to Luke, Chapter 10: 38-42. Five simple verses but jammed packed with the only true and lasting prescription for worry.
Jesus was having dinner at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Martha served. Mary sat. Martha was angry. Mary was calm. Martha worried. Mary worshiped. Mary chose the one thing missing in all of the world's methods of beating worry. She chose a Person. She chose Christ. She chose the One who said, "Do Not Worry". (see Luke 12: 22-31)
Will you choose to worry and be upset about many things or will you choose what is better? Will you write your worries on a worry list to come back and worry later, or will you write them in a  journal so that you can come back to it and praise God for answered prayer?
Your concerns are valid today. Your marriage, your children, your job, your ministry, and your finances are important facets of your life. And some days, like Martha, you want to say to Christ, "Lord, don't you care?" (v. 40)
He does care. (1 Peter 5:7) He knows what you need. (Matthew 6:8) And He is able (Ephesians 3:20) to work it all out. Rearrange your mental furniture by embracing those truths. Mary sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. Let us sit at His feet together today and hear His words. "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed...ME." Oh, how my heart is beating with the hope that those words speak to at least one of my precious "Tuesdays" friends today. 
Let me leave you with the words to one of my favorite songs, "In The Presence of Jehovah".     
In and out of situations that tug-a-war at me
All day long I struggle for answers that I need.
Then I come into His presence.
All my questions become clear.
And for a sacred moment,
No doubt can interfere.
In the presence of Jehovah.
God Almighty, Prince of Peace.
Troubles vanish.
Hearts are mended.
In the presence of the King.
Through His love the Lord provided
a place for us to rest.
A place to find the answers
In hours of distress.
There is never any reason
To give up in despair.
Just slip away and breath His name.
He will come and meet you there.
In the presence of Jehovah.
God Almighty, Prince of Peace.
Troubles vanish.
Hearts are mended.
In the presence of the King.
If that doesn't completely rearrange your mental furniture, my friend, I don't know what ever could. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3)
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