Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello, I am a Christian, and I suffer from Martha-itus

Well? What can I say? It's just hit me square in the face that I suffer from Martha-itus. You remember that story, don't you? Where Jesus came to visit His friends Mary, Martha and perhaps Lazarus. Mary sat at Jesus' feet, while Martha scurried around trying to get things done for that crowd of people.
After a bit, Martha started complaining that she was doing all the work, and at the very least, Jesus could make Mary help. Of course, Jesus told her no, that Mary chose the better thing and it would NOT be taken from her.

I remember my days back in the local assemblies. I've been a member of both the Baptist and Pentecostal type congregations. My attitude was the same in both churches--started out totally sincere in 'serving the Lord", but then after a while, my attitude took over... "Those benchwarmers! They need to pitch in and help!"  or... "It's always the same people doing the same work.... why won't anyone ever get up and help??" Sound familiar? I never understood why 'those people wouldn't see fit to pitch in and help just a LITTLE bit, anyway. Didn't they care about us? Did God really intend for them to just come 'sit and soak' while the few of us did all the work within the four church walls?

Apparently He did. Well, maybe. Or maybe not. Either way, it wasn't my call to make. It never occurred to me, that perhaps what the 'benchwarmers" were hearing on Sundays--they took to the workplace with them on Monday mornings. Might my attitude be compared to that of a store clerk? Always fussing that he had to do all the work while his loyal customers just came and shopped then left? Couldn't they at least straighten the shelves after they got through shopping? Sounds silly, doesn't it? But, as we step back and look at the whole picture--the local congregation of people on the corner of walk and don't walk, aren't the church. The building might hold some of the Body of Christ, but it could very well hold some people that are not in the Body of Christ. Either way, it's not for me to say.

The hardest thing in my religious, fleshly life I think, was when God took me out of the local assemblies. I suddenly found myself 'without purpose'--and hence... without anything to complain about. All of a sudden, I was one of those 'bench warmers' that I had complained about for so many years. You see, God took me out of the local assemblies, and reminded me that I was part of something much greater--the Body of Christ. This Body of Christ encompasses the entire globe, not just certain buildings. The Body can be found in jobs, schools, entertainment activities, and yes, even in the local assemblies. God is working far beyond those four walls, and He, not we, will decide who needs to do what. Looking back to Mary, do we think that she never, ever washed a dish in her life? Did she never make beds, cook a meal, help the needy? That'd be kind of silly to think that. However, at that point and time, she wanted to sit at the feet of Jesus.

I suppose I'm still at the feet of Jesus, but every once in a while I get ancy because I feel like I'm not 'doing' anything for Christ. Worse yet, I feel guilty because I've got some friends in a church thousands of miles away who ARE doing something for Christ every Sunday, while I simply sit and soak. Now, I "go to church" electronically. Of course, there's nothing I can 'do', because I'm not there in body. Yes, the same people do the same things each week over there. Sometimes, in my imagination, I see them buckling under the load they have chosen to carry--much like Martha. I wring my hands and fret, because it seems nobody is stepping up to help them. I vow within myself that if I was over there, you could bet I'd pitch in and help. Of course, that's probably why God has me so far away from them. He knows that if, given the chance, my Martha-itus would rear its ugly head in a New York minute. After a few minutes (days? Weeks?) of fretting, God calms my soul, and reminds me that He, not me, has people in the area that He wants them to be. All of our 'jobs',  first and foremost, is to believe on the One that God sent, as stated in John 6: 28-29:
Then they said unto Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
Another verse comes to mind that reminds us that God decides what work we'll do, not us:
For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation..." Philippians 2: 13-15
I wish I could remember these verses when my Martha-itus flares up. I'm not as worried anymore, since I know that God hasn't left me, nor will He leave me, but in all things, works it out for the Glory of the Gospel--even my Martha-itus.

So, am I alone, or are there others out there that suffer from Martha-itus, too? Does God have you working in a  local assembly? Be of good cheer and do it as until the Lord. Yes, you and a few other are probably the only ones that do the work there. Yes, there are probably a sanctuary full of people on Sundays that appear to "sit and soak", but remember, we have no idea what those folks do Monday through Friday. And for you that perhaps like me, have left the local assemblies, be careful, that Martha-itus can still flare up. Not because we're doing things... but because we feel guilty for NOT doing things. God is teaching me to be content in all things, and right now, He has me playing the part of Hur. You remember the story of Hur, Aaron and Moses, right? No? Google it. Then know my point has been made. Hardly anyone knows Hur. I am able to give to "my church" ( I still hesitate to call it 'my' church because it's thousands of miles away) in prayer and money, and let 'them' do all the 'doing'. For now, it's sufficient, until God decides to do differently.
Be blessed, regardless of your 'work for God"

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