Today is the last day of July, but it’s still not too late to write about freedom, is it?
My time with Jesus yesterday began with some things I was upset about, things I was concerned with, and my unending desire to find a normal rhythm to my schedule. As I lamented to Jesus about all this, I concluded that I agreed with David’s “one thing” in Psalm 27, mentioned at church on Sunday. This “one thing” theme has come up often for me in recent years. Here is David’s “one thing” in Psalm 27:4.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.”
I looked up the cross-reference to this verse and it took me to the Mary and Martha story in Luke 10:38-42. Truthfully I was looking for the reference to Paul’s declaration of his “one thing,” but curious, I stopped here and read this familiar story again. Verse 42 reads, “…but only ‘one thing’ is needed. Mary has chosen what is better…” Wow, I never saw that before. When I re-read verse 41 where Jesus says, “Martha, Martha,” I heard, “Debbie, Debbie, you are upset about many things,” to which I agreed and began to cry.
Jesus highlighted so much to encourage me deeply in that moment:
- Martha had opened her home to the Lord (way to go Martha)!
- Martha openly took her needs in that moment to Jesus without hesitation; she was so real and comfortable with him.
- Jesus listened and responded to her.
- Jesus knew her name and spoke it to her with love and concern.
- Jesus taught her the “one thing” that matters most.
- The “one thing” was the “better thing” to choose.
- Jesus gives freedom for Martha to choose it for herself.
Jesus whispered all this so sweetly to my heart as the tears came again. He was so present. He heard my cries and complaints, my prayers and fears of failure. He spoke my name because he knows my name. I cried more. This is the “one thing” – Jesus – that Mary was experiencing. Mary’s life found its proper place in Christ’s presence and now so was I.
All my troubles didn’t get fixed in these moments, but they did take their proper place at his feet. He was teaching me that each day I have a choice to invite him into my mess like Martha did. But most of all, I have been given freedom to listen to him respond to my cares and teach me like Martha. This must be what David experienced with the Lord as he expressed himself in Psalm 27. We too can find this kind touch from Jesus even in heartache.
Jesus is no less present with you right now than he was with Martha and Mary so long ago.
It is our prayer that together we seek his face and rest at his feet. Know today with a renewed certainty that Jesus knows your name and cares deeply about your concerns. He has something to say to you too. Chose today the “one thing” that is the “better thing,” acting on the freedom we have been given to listen and experience Jesus even now.
We love you too.