“Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40)
From Martha’s perspective, it wasn’t just the fact that Mary had left all the work for her. It also seemed that Jesus was unconcerned about the inequity. Or else why didn’t He say something to Mary?
Martha was distracted by “much service.” Perhaps it was the main way she validated herself? Maybe she was known for her baking skills, her interior design gift, or her superior management ability?
If we derive our core value through our work and the affirmation it may bring from others, we will be susceptible to many temptations. But if we return to the presence and promises of God, and find our ultimate worth in connection with Him alone, then we are safe.
This is what Mary was doing. She was sitting at Jesus’ feet listening. This is safe cover. It is true that we must do more in life that sit at Christ’s feet. But this is where we must always begin…and return!
Even though Martha was distracted, resentful, and performance-based in her worldview, she did something right! She took her issue to Jesus. And in His presence her real issues were brought into the Light!
The first step to overcoming burnout, bitterness, and even betrayal is to return to Jesus. Even if all you can initially do is complain. At least you are near the One who can change you!
It’s never right to be angry with God. But as John Piper says, don’t compound the sin of unrighteous anger with the sin of hypocrisy (by hiding your true feelings.) Go ahead and tell God. He already knows how you feel anyway. But then shut-up and listen. The “way of escape” from temptation always involves getting God’s interpretation on the issues at hand.
Jesus’ disciples also were quick to judge Jesus when things didn’t go the way they planned:
Jesus, do you not care that we are perishing? (Mark 4:38)
They were in a boat that was about to sink in the storm. And Jesus was sleeping! For all practical purposes it seemed like He simply didn’t care. Jesus was still on trial in their lives. They were not yet deeply established in the utter reality of His love and power.
When the pressure gets turned up, our doubts and fears usually surface. And we often find that we still hold deep suspicions and even offenses toward God.
He could have stopped the tragedy. But He didn’t.
He could have intervened in the sickness. But He didn’t.
He could have prevented the abuse. But He didn’t.
Because God does not always stop pain and suffering now, we are all tempted to pull away from Him. That is, we embrace the idea that He must not care about us. Hence, we feel we must take care of ourselves. We feel justified in our rebellion. We feel validated in our willful sin.
Even if wrongfully accusing Jesus, the disciples did something right. They went to Jesus. And He interpreted their storm for them. In this case He brought them through the storm. (Note: He did not spare them the storm, but brought them through safely.)
Unless we go to Him and allow Him to interpret the circumstances of our lives, we will usually take the devil’s bait and think that God doesn’t care.
Because the truth is that it is impossible for God not to care about you. He cares. He is always there. Call on Him and trust Him. One day you will possibly understand why He has allowed suffering. But until then you can rest in Him and know His comfort even during the painful times.