Peace or Panic?

Peace or panicMy morning devotional spoke especially loud to me today. Last week was one of those weeks that felt like one thing got piled on top of another and the pile started to overflow. By Friday I was tired and stressed out—because rather than choosing peace and resting at the feet of Jesus, I allowed myself to become frazzled. I have a bit of Type A personality and I’ll try to do everything, and do it perfectly. But I know that the feeling of being overwhelmed is not a spirit that comes from God. If we are not careful, the enemy will use busyness to distract us away from the One who matters most—Jesus.

In a world that often makes us feel like we have to “do” so much to be good enough, it can feel strange to stop and rest. We get so busy “doing” and doing is not a bad thing, but sometimes we also need to focus on just “being.” Being sons and daughters of God. We need to take those moments to rest at the feet of Jesus because He is our life source.

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I hope this devotional encourages you in the way it did me:

We face so much stress and pressure today. We never seem to have enough time—pressure. We want to do well as a wife and a parent—pressure. We are called to be good stewards of our finances—pressure. We strive to be effective managers of our home—pressure. How do you handle all the pressures of life? Do you experience peace or panic?

In sisters Mary and Martha, God gives us a classic study in opposites. Jesus went to their home for dinner. Martha welcomed Him in, but then she became distracted by all the preparations. Busy in the kitchen, lots of details on her mind, anxious that everything go well, Martha was a whirlwind of activity. Was she at peace? No!

How did her stress show? Martha was stirring the pot in the kitchen, but she was also in the family room. There she accused Christ (“Don’t you care?”) and accused Mary (“She’s left me to serve alone”), complaining about the burden of dinner. Martha is bossy, blaming, distracted. She’s “yarping”—which, you’ll notice, is “praying” spelled backward!

In contrast to this hurricane of hyperactivity, we find Mary…

  • resting at the Lord’s feet while Martha is restless
  • worshiping while Martha worries
  • remaining at peace while Martha’s panic level rises
  • sitting while Martha is stewing
  • listening while Martha is lashing out

What was Jesus’ response? He commended Mary for doing what is most important —spending time with Him.

Would an outside observer see Martha or Mary in you as you deal with schedules, commitments, and pressures? Do you need to make any changes?

Devotional from: Walking with the Women of the Bible, by Elizabeth George. 

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As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” ~Luke 10:38-42 (MSG)


hannah

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