It truly is a joy to me to share with other sisters in the LORD the good things He has done and is doing in our midst. Though we cannot always see or understand the workings of the LORD, He is, indeed, at work and all God’s ways are good. We can count on Him for that.
Consider being at the threshold of a brand new year, a clean slate, and unblemished path lies ahead. By the time a week or two passes, however, you may have already crossed off a number of “New Year’s Resolutions” and you may have “slipped” a bit in your resolve to stay away from treats and snacks, you may not have gotten to the exercises you intended to do and you may already be behind eight or twelve chapters in your “Read-through-the-Bible-in-a-Year” program. You may have spoken harshly to the children and you may have already stayed up too late to rise early in the morning.
So, all in all, you might resolve that you’re off to a very good start. Really. You know… really, it’s a very good thing for us to acknowledge… to take a look at our frailties and failings and stand right in front of our mirrors and see our sorry states of affairs. It’s a very good thing to stand right there with our amended and scratched out list of “meant to do’s” and see that we truly “cannot do this.” I think you know what I’m talking about. I say it to my husband from time to time and I say it to the LORD, too: “I cannot do this!” And then you know what? It’s as if the LORD is just standing right there with His comforting outstretched arms saying: Come here, I have been waiting to help you… I have been waiting to carry you through this. Come here… lay your burdens down and come to Me.
Well, then, that’s what I must do. And that’s what you must do, too. We need to just set that paper down and put down the pen filled with the ink of good intentions and just get on our knees and wait on the LORD. And so that’s what I am suggesting be your thought and your best hope for the year ahead: God being your Helper, that you will just do one thing—for only one thing is needed and that is to sit at the Feet of Jesus and hear His Word.
Remember Martha, all caught up in the well doing, the busyness of the day — the murmuring and the fretting over what needed to be done? Remember how the LORD addressed her and her situation? What did He tell her? At first blush, it might seem as though He didn’t show consideration for all she was doing or attempting to do and it hardly seemed as though He valued her effort. But you know, the more I read and mull over what He said to her, how He addressed her and how He advised her, I see that He gave her the most loving and helpful words He could’ve offered— sort of an invitation and direction at once.
(From Luke 10. 40-42) There she was working [murmuring], cumbered about with much [murmuring] serving, and came to him [murmuring], and said [murmuring], “Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve [and murmur] alone? bid her therefore that she help me [murmur, murmur]. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
You see, He did see and understand her plight, her hard work and her feelings about it all. He did address the very things that were troubling her — though it may not seem so at first glance. He acknowledged her work (O, yes, and her troubles), but He also showed her that what she was doing was *troubling* her and was not done in restful adoration or in service to Him. Yes, Mary’s actions were in adoration and service — it’s just that when someone is sitting at the feet of Jesus it might seem to others to be a waste of time and yet, if done in sincerity and in truth, that very sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing His Word is of the greatest importance and tremendous value. The benefit of that time spent sitting at the feet of Jesus hearing His Word, will be reflected in the time of serving — that waiting on the LORD, hearing His word will be reflected in every step of the way. Instead of being troubled and careful about many things, you will have chosen that good part— remember? …that part that Jesus says cannot be taken away.
So, where is the sitting at the feet of Jesus, hearing His Word? It’s your quiet time with Him every morning — it’s that most important time of your day: time in the Word of God. And so, I offer this bit of encouragement to you as we begin the New Year together. Take that tablet and that pen filled with the ink of good intentions and just set them aside. In my best New York accent: forget about it. But this one thing… please consider this one thing and don’t let anything dissuade you from implementing this one thing, for this one thing is needful: establish or reestablish a daily quiet time with the LORD. Change your schedule, or change your habits or change your discipline… but don’t allow yourself to be too busy, too late or too tired to daily sit at the feet of Jesus, hearing His Word. For in doing so, you will have chosen the good part, that shall not be taken away from you.
You may have many things on your heart and mind; many trials, troubles and regrets. You may be weary in the battle and the task may seem too arduous for you to carry on. The temptations may seem too great to resist and the tension too intense to bear any longer. You may be a mother of many young children and believe that you have no time to read and no time to pray. It may be that you feel at the end of your rope. In all these things that loom dark on the horizon I know Jesus will already be there to bear the load and the burden you cannot carry. Taste and see that the LORD is good. Maybe you already know this full well and are joyfully looking forward to the sunrise as you meet with the LORD. Whatever the case, when you meet Him in the morning He’ll already be there and will linger long after you’re gone. He will fill you, refresh you, equip you, strengthen and guide you. And you will then see there is nowhere you can go that the LORD will not already be waiting… waiting to demonstrate Himself strong on your behalf.
Blessings to you as we journey through the door and onto the path of this new year.
with love, your sister in Christ, —pamela