What We Really Need in 2023…

January 1, 2023

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful finish to your holiday season while ringing in the new year. Was it full of fireworks and sparkling cider or sickness and unmet ideals? Ours was a bit of both. Ha! As I look to the new year I’m sure like many of you, I’ve been taking time to slow down and reflect on all the Lord did for our family in 2022 as well as looking to what 2023 might hold. I have my plans and ambitions, but as is often the case some of those ideals will fade away and new plans will arise as the year unfolds. However, there is one thing in particular that has been in my thoughts in regards to new years ambitions that I desire to share with you.

Let me start by taking you to a story in Luke chapter 10, the story of Mary and Martha. I know what you’re probably thinking right now. Here we go again- the story I’ve heard many times about not being an anxious doer or worrying about the day. Before you check out, let me tell you, yes, that is part of it, but it’s actually not the main reason I am revisiting this story with you. I want us to look at this story with fresh eyes.

Martha is busy preparing things for the guests who are anticipating dinner, while her sister Mary, is sitting listening to Jesus teach. Martha, in her frustration, goes directly to Jesus and asks him to tell her sister to help. Jesus in response says this, ”  “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” 

When first reading this story, I wondered why Jesus would say what Martha was doing wasn’t also important. She was serving and pouring out what she had to the Lord and his followers- her home, her food, her service- her best. Yet looking closely at Christ’s response we see that he said ” but one thing is necessary.” The Lord is reminding us that it is all too easy to take good things (work, service to church and neighbors, friendships, housework) and prioritize them as more urgent than what should be most important in our day- personal time with the Lord. Even if we are doing all of those things to serve the Lord as Martha was doing, Christ desires that we prioritize actual time to sit down with Him every day. 

What if Martha had taken time to listen to his teaching and then everyone helped prepare dinner or they chipped in and bought something ready from the market? Let’s be realistic, the Lord knows that as women, workers, wives, mothers, neighbors, and friends there are numerous responsibilities that come with those roles. It’s not that He doesn’t want us to do those things. The tasks of our daily lives are extremely important and often they are how God calls us to display His love. But they cannot take the place of our personal time with God. If they are keeping us from time with our Savior every day then something needs to change. God is not after our works, He is first and foremost after our hearts. He created us to walk with Him in the garden and when that was taken away, He sent His son to die so He could walk with us again. Sitting at the feet of Jesus is what “is necessary”.

The life that flows from a heart rightly ordered to include consistent and intimate daily encounters with God will be so much more fruitful than one that is attempted from our own strength. This simple and often retold story is a reminder of what my heart needs and I hope it is one that will encourage you as we look to all this new year holds. Will we choose to seek the “good portion” of all that Christ has to offer before everything else?

In God’s Love,