Martha, Martha, you are worried, bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary... Luke 10:41-42 AMP
Disturbed. Divided. Disquieted. Take note of these definitions depicting Martha’s condition.
I can’t imagine three words describing this year any better. The enemy has worked OVERTIME the past 12 months to disturb and divide us, leaving us with disquieted hearts and minds.
And I don’t know about you, but I have been WAITING for this line in the story.
“ONLY ONE THING IS NECESSARY.”
Well for the love, please do tell. I know it seems overly simplistic to say, ONE THING is necessary to calm the disquiet in your soul. To unite the division of mind and settle the heart in its disturbed condition.
But guess what? Only ONE THING is necessary.
It is true.
But before we get to this…. Let me elaborate on one word tucked away in this verse. I found this fascinating.
Thorybazō is the Greek word for “bothered” used in this passage. Its meaning is disturb, be troubled in mind, and disquieted. But is also means, “to make turbid”. And confession, I’d never heard this word before. It seemed poignant, so I went to work. I want to understand everything Jesus is trying to say here…. what is He on mission to solve with this ONE THING?
Turbid: Cloudy, opaque, or thick with suspended matter. Murky. Muddy.
Martha was busy. She was bothered. But friends, her mind was just cloudy.
We must note this. “Cloudy” isn’t an obvious suspect when considering the attacks of the enemy on our affection for Christ. I am quite aware of his mission to discourage me, distract me, create division and cause turmoil in my soul.
But the tactic of simply clouding up our thinking is easily overlooked and honestly could be quite destructive.
Friends, it takes VERY little to disrupt our affection for God. The most devout believer would attest to this, I am certain. Even if someone has weathered 2020 like a champ, I’m still guessing they’d admit, “yes, my mind has been cloudy this year.”
2020 has been “a fog.” I’ve said it myself. It’s nearly impossible to see what is ahead. So much has muddied the water.
But ONE THING is necessary.
ONE THING quiets. ONE THING comforts. ONE THING calms. ONE THING brings clarity.
What is the One thing necessary? That is to hear the Words of Jesus.
The many things Martha was troubled with were needless, while the one thing she neglected was needed most.
He has come to your village. He has come to your home. The Living Word is speaking to us…. but are our minds too cloudy to listen?
Hearing from God is the ONE THING.
Advent’s gift to us this Christmas is this ONE THING. A baby’s cry broke the sound barrier so we could have was is necessary.
A newborn cry from Bethlehem was God’s plea to bid us come and hear.
The Word of God is speaking.
Today, let us take inventory. What is clouding up your mind? Maybe it is an overpreocupation with things out of your control. Maybe the state of our economy or this virus which has dominated so much of our attention. Or maybe, like Martha, we are just “busy about much serving.” Focusing more on the “presentation” verses the PRESENCE of Jesus.
Whatever it is, ONE THING IS NECESSARY. Make a trade today, friends. Choose what is better. Choose Jesus. Choose only this one thing.
Choosing What Is Better:
For your devotional time this morning, simply read this poem and meditate on the words. There is a gift of quiet within each stanza. Receive this as my prayer over you today….
“Blessing in the Chaos” by Jan Richardson
To all that is chaotic in you,
let there come silence.
Let there be a calming of the clamoring,
a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you,
that have made their home in you, that go with you even to the holy places but will not let you rest,
will not let you hear your life with wholeness or feel the grace that fashioned you.
Let what distracts you cease.
Let what divides you cease.
Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans,
and let depart all that keeps you in its cage.
Let there be an opening into the quiet that lies beneath the chaos,
where you find the peace you did not think possible
and see what shimmers within the storm.
~ Jan Richardson, paintedprayerbook.com