"But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me."
This familiar story shows the frustration of Martha as she lashes out at her sister. She felt as if she was carrying the load of hospitality by herself. It was customary to show generosity and entertain guest in Bible days, especially important visitors of high position. Her sister Mary just sat still at the feet of Jesus, listening to his words. As Martha complained, Jesus told her that she was too anxious and burdened with much serving. He upheld Mary's actions and said that she chose something needful. She was found resting and focusing on the Lord. Through this story, God confirms the importance of resting in his presence.
This idea is highlighted again in Matthew 11:28: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Martha had a servant's heart, but was a troubled person. Sometimes we can allow ourselves to become too anxious about things that are not that important. Also, we spend too much time worrying about things that are out of our control. Our priorities can be mixed up as we focus on too many good things. As we look to these distractions we miss what God is really wanting us to experience. We can put too much unnecessary items on our plate and miss what is most important. This can result in us becoming too tense, edgy, and burning out. Something is wrong when we lack the peace that he has called us to have. God invites us to come to him with our burdens and find rest.
Biblical rest is an important promise and can be defined in many ways. It can be explained as knowing that God is in control. When we pray and trust in him, we can relax and know he's taking care of our issues. Rest is also being in the center of the Lord's will. As God rested on the 7th day of creation, he said that it was good. He had a sense of satisfaction and completion from his incredible work. We also can experience this sense of completion and fulfillment when we are doing what he called us to do. Biblical rest is the refreshing and blessings that come from obedience to God's word. He promises to open the windows of Heaven and pour out blessings to those who does his will.
Finally, rest is having a right relationship with Jesus. There is a peace that comes when your sins are washed away. It is a much lighter load when God lifts the shame and guilt from our shoulders. We can invite the presence of the Lord in our homes and allow him to be involved in our situations. If we seek him first, we do not have to stress over everything because he will provide all our needs. A mature Christian can live with an attitude of trust even in difficult times. He or she knows that the Heavenly father will not fail and will work all things out for the good. This is a much more peaceful and healthy lifestyle. We need to learn to "chill out" and trust in the Lord.
Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski, Your Brother & Sister In Christ. (All comments are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org).