Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Serving God by Serving Others, Part II

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." ~ Luke 10:38-42

When I first read this passage several months ago, I couldn’t help but sympathize with Martha. There were unexpected guests in the house. People wanted to be fed. Someone had to take care of things and Martha took charge. I can’t say that I blame her for wanting a little help. Don’t we all want a little help? Heck, don’t we all really expect a little help?

The Bible doesn’t tell us how Martha responded or reacted to Jesus’ words. Did she immediately drop everything and sit at His feet with her sister? Or did she stomp off in a huff feeling unappreciated and taken advantage of (like I probably would have done)?

Mind you, I have no trouble serving others. I quite enjoy it, actually. But when it comes to serving those I live with day in and day out, I struggle in this area. Oh, I serve them alright. It just seems that I do it a bit begrudgingly at times. I simply don’t do it with the right spirit. I often resent the fact that I do so much and so much of what I do seems to go unnoticed.

I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve talked to too many moms (stay-at-home or work-out-of-home, it doesn’t seem to matter) who feel the same way. I think since the bowl incident, I’ve come a long way. I like to think so, at least. I know in my heart that I’m not to look to other people for validation and appreciation of what I do. I know that I’m to look only to God to provide these things for me but the cold hard truth is, I DO want gratitude and appreciation from those I live with.

When thinking about this last night, it suddenly occurred to me. Do you think God put this desire in our hearts - the want/need to be thanked by others for all that we do - so that we would better know how He feels?

I complain to others about how the things I do go by without so much as a word of thanks yet don’t I do the same to God? When was the last time I thanked Him for a beautiful day? Or my health? The health of my children? Keeping us safe? The roof over my head? The clothes on our backs? Or even, I embarrassed to say, the food on my plate? He provides these things daily, does He not? Shouldn’t I then be thankful and say so on a daily basis?

My husband and I long ago came to the conclusion that one cannot be happy unless one is truly grateful. Maybe that’s why I’m unhappy with the amount of gratitude I get - because I’m not giving it to the One who truly deserves it in the amount He truly deserves.

Perhaps I should spend more time at the feet of Jesus.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful message.

eph2810 said...

Very powerful post, Amanda :) I know that I grumble sometimes, not only at home, but at work too. I should just keep looking to Him for approval :)

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on service.

Blessings to you and yours.