Pursuit In The “Middle-Of” Moments

Have you ever encountered a “middle-of-moment”? A moment where you’re faced with a choice of distraction, or choosing to pursue a heart posture of intention?

We love gathering with our families, friends, neighbors, and just being together. We also love being the hosting house, but with that (more times than I’d like to admit), I have found myself in a “Martha moment”.

And yet again, this week, I happened to open up to that same, well-known 5-verse story of Mary and Martha. You know, the one you most likely skim over because you know the premise of what takes place? You know that you would never DARE to be the one to ignore the presence of the Savior while trying to clean your home, and make the perfect meal, presenting the finest dishes, meanwhile, all He wanted was for you to sit at His feet and rest?

It wasn’t in the absence of the mess that Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, it was in the middle of it.

Messy Home

Those “middle-of” moments. Where we are stuck between pushing through distraction, in pursuit of intention. I love the way the Passion translation tells us the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42:

Luke 10:38–39: As Jesus and the disciples continued on their journey, they came to a village where a woman welcomed Jesus into her home. Her name was Martha and she had a sister named Mary. Mary sat down attentively before the Master, absorbing every revelation He shared. But Martha became exasperated by finishing the numerous household chores in preparation for her guests, so she interrupted Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you think it’s unfair that my sister left me to do all the work by myself? You should tell her to get up and help me.”

The Lord answered her, “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.”

How interesting that Jesus doesn’t rebuke Martha for her words.

He doesn’t mock her by saying, “‘Make your sister come and help you!?’ Listen here, lady, who do you think you’re talking to? Don’t you know who I am?”

Jesus accepts Martha where she is, as she is, and listens to her complaint without batting an eye at her heart posture.

The Lord goes on to tell Martha as she questions Mary’s choice, that Mary has CHOSEN to sit at His feet. It didn’t mean Mary had the time, that the kids were silent, and all the chores were done. No, it was in the MIDDLE OF THE MESS THAT MARY CHOOSE TO SIT AT HIS FEET! Mary rested and allowed herself to be present enough to receive the revelation God had for her. 

I also love the picture in this translation where it says Mary didn’t just sit down at Jesus’s feet – she sat down ATTENTIVELY, ready not only to receive but to offer her heart as a sacrifice to the Lord.

Setting aside the distractions that were trying to pull her away from His heart. Pushing through distraction in the pursuit of intentional time with the Prince of Peace she was longing to meet.

Then, in the last verse,  Luke 10:42, the Lord says while speaking to Martha about Mary, “she  is UNDISTRACTED, and I won’t take that privilege from her”

As we dig into what the word privilege meant here, another word we can use would be an advantage. Just as Mary did, we have the privilege, or the ADVANTAGE of the Holy Spirit to help us discern when we are operating out of distraction or out of intention.

Do we have a heart posture that is pushing through distraction in the pursuit of intention?

Now, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we get a free pass on all household duties. WE are called to steward and care for the things God has entrusted to us; dishes, children, and even spouses are not void from that call. But let me remind you, He sees and knows the season you’re in, just as He saw Mary and Martha. He sees and MEETS you in the MESS, and is only asking for your heart posture to be one willing and ready to receive all He has for you, even in those “middle-of” moments. The moments where your heart posture desires to push through distraction in the pursuit of intention.

In the middle-of-the-mess

In the middle-of-breakdowns

In the middle-of-potty-training

In the middle-of-homeschooling – in water’s you know nothing about

In the middle-of-a struggling marriage

In the-middle-of waiting for your miracle

In the middle-of-a global pandemic

He sees you, and he meets you there. 

Right in the middle.

Now, before you write this passage off, let the record state very clearly that I can relate to both of these women. I have sat many times in their shoes, and not always chosen the way I think would best reflect and honor those I hold dear.

Like Martha, I understand the perfectionism of wanting to entertain, to bless others, and make them feel special, loved, and valued by cooking an elaborate meal, cute decor, and all the things, because personally, I enjoy doing that for guests. I love making people feel loved, and after all, Martha was hosting the LORD! You better believe I would want to prepare a place of greatness for Him.

On the contrary, I can also imagine the deep longing peace from the Prince of it, while worshipfully pouring out my heart at His feet. Sitting here now, in the season of so desperately desiring a new wave of that peace, I can’t imagine doing anything other than being in the Savior’s presence while He was in my home. I can’t imagine ever leaving the room. I think I would just stare into His eyes, and probably in the most un-awkward-est ways possible, plop myself in his lap, and melt like butter on a hot pancake.

When we read this, it’s obvious who made the better choice. But that’s after we’ve read Jesus’s response to Martha, and let the gentle conviction creep into our own spirits.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been Martha more times than I’d like to admit. Even while writing this, I am reminded of times of distraction over times of intention.

Times where, just like Martha, what really stole my joy wasn’t the fact of when I was without help, but when I saw someone ELSE resting, sitting, (maybe a spouse) while I was busy doing all the things. And that’s where Martha’s discontentment begins – when she was faced with a choice in her “middle-of” moment. When she compares her current situation to someone else’s and realizes she’s holding the short end of the straw.

However, when we concentrate on Jesus FIRST, we discover that we are never truly alone or without help. (Hebrews 13:5) We experience that His grace is sufficient for all that we face. (2 Corinthians 9:8) And we find inner peace and strength to face whatever comes our way. (John 14:27) Those are the kinds of truths that keep us calm in even the busiest seasons of giving, loving, and serving.

So mama, may these words be a reminder to intentionally have a heart posture to hear from God. In your “middle-of” moments, and in the moments of stillness. In moments of chaos, and in the middle of your mess.

May your deepest hearts cry be one that is able to posture yourself to sit at his feet, and rest.

Yes, mama, rest in the middle-of-moments.

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