Monday, June 22, 2009
Mary and Martha 2009
But the Lord answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things:
I have been thinking a lot about obedience, submission of one's will, following rules.
Yes I work with teenagers.
And I wrestle with my own spirituality daily.
I have a friend who is a godly woman. She reads the Bible daily, prays earnestly and faithfully. She tries to live via God's commands and direction daily.
Today she called to tell me that her marriage was over. He is leaving not only her but also the church.
My heart broke for two reasons. For her and for him. Theirs was not an easy life or love. But it was forged and tempered by their faith and their desire to do God's will.
Now she is still trying to live her faith, committed to her ministry. But he has decided to leave the church and his wife. He no longer believes he is a minister. He no longer believes that God is using him in this broken, wounded world. He is a man of many talents. He is a gifted speaker, a singer and song writer. He is a wondrous preacher and has touched countless lives with words inspired by God. But he has chosen to walk away from all that.
Living in the moment, doing God's will is hard. Being a Christian is terribly, terribly tough. It means obeying a will other than your own. It means sacrifice. Being a Christian means following rules, tough, hard rules that can seem to go against conventional wisdom. It means stepping out blindly and believing there is a solid surface for your foot to fall upon.
I know it isn't easy. I am more in tune with Doubting Thomas or Martha the anxious than anyone else in the Bible. I am stubborn and hard headed and wrestle with God daily to try to control everything. So I can understand my friend's husband's frustration, fear, anxiety and hopelessness. And I ache for him.
But she is my friend and I ache for her too. Yet I admire her. Because in the face of devastating loss and betrayal, she said, "God has a plan for me, I just have to listen... and obey."
How I wish I could be so faithful, so strong, so believing. But as long as she is in my life, I can look to her as an example, she is the Mary to my Martha. She is a witness to faith and a teacher to me about persevering and believing.
So as I pray for her in the coming days, I will also remember her words and meditate on them for myself. "God has a plan for me, I just have to listen and obey"