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Graceful Perseverance: A Visit from Jesus

Posted December 3rd, 2017 @ 12:12pm

Welcome to this week's blog. "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 never be taken away from her." - Luke 10:41-42.

In Luke 10:41-42 tells the story of Jesus' visit to Martha and Mary's home. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, they 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 few things are needed - or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

I always find that the Lord's timing is impeccable. Wherever I am in my life's journey, He always knows what to put in front of me to remind me of His will for my life, not my own. In my life, I know I find myself always getting caught up in the chores and other distractions in everything I do. I recently found myself so consumed by holiday preparations that I literally wore myself down emotionally and physically. I was exhausted, depleted and grew weary as a result. This week in my prayer time I stumbled upon the story of Jesus visiting with Martha and Mary. I quickly realized that I am Martha in the 21st Century. Instead of Jesus saying "Martha, Martha" 2,000 years ago, I hear Him saying "Debra, Debra" today.

There will always be inescapable troubles and worries in this fallen world. It's so very easy as a woman to get caught up in the mindset that we are responsible for making sure everything is planned and orchestrated perfectly so that everything goes off without a hitch. We strive for perfection and exceed all expectations of those around us, but at the expense of our well-being. I am a Virgo, a perfectionist, making sure my surroundings are always in perfect order with OCD. Everything I do and everything I touch, I strive for perfection. I used to say "Perfection is my greatest enemy!" Again, at the expense of my own well-being. I plan, I organize, I make lists, and then I make more lists. I shop, I decorate and clean to the 9th degree, all so everything is perfect at all times. It exhausts me just to write about a behavior that has consumed my life.

Rather than choosing to make everything around us our primary priority and pressuring ourselves into mastering perfection, we need to learn to make our relationship with Christ our number one priority above all else. This was Mary's perception in the story of Jesus' visit to Martha and Mary's home. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened intensely to His words. Mary did not allow the chores within their home distract her from giving Jesus 100% of her time. Mary's perspective was that her relationship with Jesus was much more important than tending to the household chores and preparations that had consumed her sister Martha. Although Martha was frustrated that Mary wasn't helping her, Mary still chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him speak. Mary truly knew what was more important. Unlike Martha, Mary understood Psalm 32:8 - I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

It's very difficult for us to learn to let our troubles and problems fade into the light of eternity, our eternal home. If we only realized we are ever so weak in our capacity to fix what is wrong in our lives by ourselves, without the help of the Lord. Jesus clearly shows us in scripture through proverbs, psalms and parables what He is asking us to do; call out to Jesus and give our problems and concerns to Him. In scripture He asks us to lie down in green pastures. He asks us to sit quietly beside still waters. All so we can rest and trust that He will carry our burdens and resolve our troubles for us. For we are weak and He is strong. The meaning of Psalm 23 is that...He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul. It took me years to fully understand what He was trying to tell me in this scripture.

But it's really about learning to find this inner peace that is so very hard for us to do. The kind of peace you can only attain by spending time with the Lord.

Sitting quietly, with no outside distractions, noise and chatter. Drawing ourselves closer to Jesus is the only way that we can find His peace in our lives. Nothing or no one in this world can substitute or replace the peace that comes from the Lord. I know this now. I am living proof. I make it a priority every morning, above all else, to spend time with the Lord, my quiet time before the worldly pressures creep in and take over my day. I pray, I cry out to Jesus. I confide in Him like my father. I pray and I thank Jesus for my troubles. I thank Him for His daily blessings. I thank Jesus for loving me and seeing me through His eyes of Love and for never leaving my side.

So, go now and remember John 14:27 tells us - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Blessings until next week,

Debra Pauli

Unstoppable Believer

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