Martha and Mary were sisters, and they both loved and wanted to please the Lord. However, they were very different in their actions. Martha was preoccupied with cooking and housecleaning, while Mary sought to spend time with Jesus. The Bible tells us that she sat at His feet, listening to all He said.
Anxiety is the result of preoccupation with the things in life that do not have eternal value.
We need to be aware of the danger of anything that crowds the Lord out of our lives. Jesus chided Martha: "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" (Luke 10:41-42).
In the end, the only thing that matters or has meaning is God's Word in our lives. Martha was anxious about things that pertain to this life. She did not have a genuine sense of peace—one that comes as a result of spending time with the Savior.
Anxiety is the result of preoccupation with the things in life that do not have eternal value. It is a signal that we are seeking to derive security or peace from something other than the Lord.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote:
God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel we were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. (31)
We may be sincerely doing what we think will please the Lord—but all the while stressing over unnecessary tasks, events, or emotions. Like Martha, we need to recognize what is important. When God is the center of our lives, our priorities will be focused on Him, and then He will fill us with His peace, assurance, and hope.
Prayer: Father, pour Your peace into my heart and mind as I release the cares of this world and focus on You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).