#iRevAdvent: Day 17

“Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part]! Luke 10:40 AMP

I don’t know what it is about unloading the dishwasher… but in my home this is the one task that provokes the greatest sense of injustice amongst my boys.

If one son is in the room when it is time to put the dishes away, their memory goes into overdrive, suddenly recalling every single instance they have unloaded without a brother to help.

They start calling names up the stairwell, pleading their case that “yesterday they emptied the top rack while so-and-so was in bed.” SURELY it could NOT be so that I am calling them to this solo drudgery again!?

Such injustice.

Can’t you hear this story unfolding in my kitchen…. “But the Crenshaw boy was cumbered about much serving, and came to his mom, and said, “Mother, dost thou not care that my brother hath left me to serve alone? Bid him therefore that he help me!”

Oh would someone please tell my boys to reenact this story without me knowing it one random morning. And it must be the KJV rendition… Only 1611 would do!

But this dishwasher scenario is only comical because all of us, to some degree, can relate.

I have poured over this part of the story, friends. I must say, I relate to Martha more than I like to admit. Let me explain.

In 2005, my sweet mama went to be with Jesus after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer. I was 27 and my sister 32, both of us in the midst of bearing children and establishing our young families. Brent and I were launching a college ministry with Campus Crusade and my sister working full-time with a toddler and four-month-old.

  • Left (kataleipō):  be left over, to leave remaining; to leave any business to be done by one alone
  • Alone (monos): forsaken, destitute of help,

When mom passed she left behind her sweet mother, you all know her as Mamaw. Oh I love her so. But at 27 and 32, my sister and I were “left remaining, feeling destitute of help” and unsure of what to do.

Caring for the elderly is a learning curve for everyone. But pair this with the grief of losing mom and the stress of little people underfoot, you would have found me MANY DAYS, just like Martha, hands to my hips, abruptly approaching Jesus “We’ve been left to serve alone!”

Martha felt abandoned. Forsaken. Destitute of help. And so did I.

Friends, this lesson is no longer about Martha’s meal prep. Nope, I do believe her catering frustrations are revealing a deeper pain. Her feeling forsaken and alone in the kitchen is exposing a greater story in her heart … a story which Jesus came to fulfill.

  • The Lord is my HELPER. I will not fear. Hebrews 13:6
  • Indeed, the Lord loves justice, and he will not abandon his godly ones. Psalm 37:28
  • It is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
  • I’ve commanded you, haven’t I? Be strong and courageous. Don’t be fearful or discouraged, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

He. Meets. The. Longings. Of. Our. Heart.

Martha was speaking to the fulfillment of her need. He was right there with her.

May I suggest that Martha’s story is a mere parallel of our greater story. We are not alone. We are not forsaken. The gift of Jesus this Christmas made a way to be reconciled BACK to God. And even though Jesus died and ascended to the Father, He made sure, even then, that we were not abandoned. Look…

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:7-8

So when I am feeling alone in caring for my grandmother, I simply remember – I do have a HELPER. God is with me wherever I go. I am not forsaken. I am not abandoned.

And neither are you.

So the next time you feel “left to serve alone and longing for someone to help you and lend a hand” remember…. You have a Helper to be with you forever (John 14:15). Be it unloading a dishwasher or caring for those in need, Emmanuel, God is with you.

This is your story.

This is Christmas.

Choosing What Is Better:

  • Look at these two greek words again and their definitions. What areas of your life fall under these two descriptions? Write them down in your journal.
  1. Left (kataleipō):  be left over, to leave remaining; to leave any business to be done by one alone
  2. Alone (monos): forsaken, destitute of help
  • Now open your Bible and turn to Hebrews 13:6, Psalm 37:28, Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9. Transform these verses into prayers of gratitide. Write them out like this…… “Lord thank you that you are my HELPER. I will not fear.”
  • Lastly, turn to John 14:15. How does this reality impact the term “Emmanuel” for you?

I means so much to hear from you!

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