“But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
“One thing is necessary…” This has been ringing in my ears all week. I’ve been overwhelmed with some medical issues that I’ve been facing lately. My friends have forced me to see a doctor which is kind of like trying to get a cat to take a bath. So now I’ve got doctor’s appointments, medical tests, insurance claims and time off of work to deal with. Why can’t things just work the way they’re supposed to? Why does my life have to be interrupted to deal with things that just shouldn’t even be happening in the first place? Thanks a lot, Adam and Eve.
My situation is nothing compared to some that I know of and am praying for; I know several who are dealing with cancer and their strength and faith is truly amazing. But when you’re in the middle of trying to figure out what is happening to your body (or any other type of trouble), it’s easy to become consumed with it (and yourself). So while I’ve been staring into the abyss of myself and my problems, God has been trying to get my attention. And I’m finally starting to listen. Here are some of the ways that I can see Him loving me.
My friends have been an incredible blessing to me. When you are single and living far from family, friends become your only source of support. I have many who have prayed and offered encouragement. Some have called or stopped by. And a few, that didn’t even know what was going on, offered beautiful words of kindness. I also have three amazing wonder-women who will take turns on Monday watching over me while I am tested and afterward during my recuperation time. (I think they really volunteered because they want blackmail stories from the effects of the anesthesia wearing off. So I may have to make them sign a contract swearing them to complete confidentiality.)
Music has been another gift from the Lord this week. Songs like the one above, Great I Am, Glorious Day, My Inheritance and Great Reward have been ministering to my heart and bringing me to worship. These songs along with Scripture have encouraged my heart and helped me to stay focused.
Last year, I studied through the book of James and it seemed that every verse had to do with the theme of double-mindedness versus single-mindedness (actually it’s really just these passages: James 1:5-8; 1:12-15; 1:22-24; 2:4; 3:9-12; 3:16-18; 4:1-10; 5:12 but you can see my point…). Every passage screamed at me about how much my soul was/is divided. I am continually being pulled between my selfish desires and my desire to see God glorified in my life. This time I was so wrapped up in worry about my health that it was difficult for me to even think about the Kingdom of God. Instead of seeking His Kingdom first (and letting Him take care of me), I was trying to serve two masters (my well-being and God…notice the order there). But Matthew 6 tells me that I can’t serve two masters because I will choose one above the other (v 24). And James tells me that if I’m double-minded like that then I will be like a wave tossed by the sea (James 1:6-8)…and I can attest to that. I was feeling rather beaten up and bruised earlier this week.
The whole of Scripture tells me that if I seek the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:33), if I seek His presence (Ps 16:11; 21:6), if I seek His glory over my own, then everything else will fall into place the way it should be (even if it’s not the way I want it to). He knows what we need even better than we do. So I’ve been bringing my anxious thoughts to Him (Phil 4:6-7) and setting my mind on things above (Col 3:2), trying to seek His Kingdom over my own. Now I’m much more at peace and feel like I can walk through this trial by fire as long as He is with me.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:4-7
“…your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matt 6:32b-33