Have you ever encountered a situation in life where you felt overwhelmed or afraid and it seemed to you as if Jesus didn’t come through for you in the way you expected He should? Have you ever found yourself wondering if Jesus even cared? You are not alone. I recently discovered two situations in the New Testament where Jesus was asked “don’t You care?” by people who loved Him and knew Him well.
The first incident took place in the home of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42). Jesus visited the village where they lived, and we read that Martha welcomed Him into her home. I am quite sure that Jesus had a group of His disciples with Him, so Martha would need to work hard to feed these hungry men. Fortunately her sister, Mary, was there to lend a hand … or was she? Instead of falling in alongside Martha, Mary made herself comfortable at the feet of Jesus, and chose to sit and listen to Him teach. Now let’s be honest, if you had a big group of people over for a meal, and there was a lot to do, you would appreciate a little help, wouldn’t you? This was precisely how Martha felt. ‘But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving’.
It seems to me that Martha was not doing so well, even outside of this incident. Jesus called her anxious and troubled about MANY things (verse 42). She was overly occupied and TOO busy. And because of this, her judgement was clouded, and she felt overwhelmed and distracted by something she was accustomed to do with ease – serving a meal. This affected her attitude and even caused her to accuse Jesus: “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” (verse 40).
We read about another such occasion in Mark 4 when Jesus was teaching next to a lake. At the end of the day, Jesus told His disciples that they should go to the other side of the lake, and the disciples set out with Jesus still in the boat. Jesus, exhausted from a day of ministry, fell asleep. We read, ‘And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled’ (verse 37). This was a storm that overwhelmed both the disciples and their boat. Instead of waking up and coming to the rescue, Jesus remained asleep and was seemingly oblivious of their dilemma. ‘And they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Jesus woke up, rebuked and calmed the storm, and also expressed His disappointment at His disciples’ lack of faith.
When we are tired, facing uncommon pressures and find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and up against yet another challenging situation, we need to take a step back, and regain perspective. Martha reacted out of a place of worry and busyness. The disciples reacted out of a place of fear and unbelief. In both cases it distorted the truth they knew about who Jesus was. Watch your words when you are feeling overwhelmed, tired and anxious. Choose faith over fear, His presence over your programme. Do not allow temporary circumstances to dictate what you choose to believe concerning the One Who is ‘gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’ (Psalm 145:8), the One who ‘cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully’(1 Peter 5:7). Follow Mary’s example. Choose to sit at His feet. Jesus said ‘few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better’ (Luke 10:42).
Prayer: Lord, so many times I am too busy and distracted and even overwhelmed by the demands of my everyday life. Forgive me for questioning Your Presence and Your goodness in times like these. Help me to choose the better part as Mary did, and to regain perspective at Your feet, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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