By Joel Luckemeyer
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:41-42.
It was said that Martin Luther was so busy that he began each day with four hours of prayer. Imagine spending four hours in straight prayer…. daily! It was not like Martin Luther was only a monk with all the time in the world to pray. Luther translated the entire Bible so that every German could read it in their own language. He taught courses. He raised a family. He instructed pastors. He wrote books and letters. He advised government officials. He advocated for public education for women. He was the spark to the reformation and perhaps the most influential man in entire Renaissance. He did all this with a death sentence over his head by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Luther suffered from depression. He had a lot to be anxious about. I think it is fair to say Luther knew that his help was in Lord.
Anxiety and stress are plagues to us all. There are even prescription drugs to help cope with them. Anxiety can rise up from big life-altering circumstances, or it can creep up from having a dirty house before guests come over. Some people are better at coping with anxiety than others. Yet, everyone has had their moments where anxiety has made circumstances worse for themselves than they actually were. Everyone has also had circumstances where just about anyone going through those circumstances would be anxious.
In Luke 10, two sisters, Martha and Mary hosted Jesus and His disciples in their home. As many can relate, Martha wanted to give her guests a wonderful time. She was working hard serving her guests. However, her sister, Mary spent her time at the feet of Jesus intently listening to Him. I can relate to Martha at what happens next. Martha saw her sister sitting and doing nothing while she worked. When I am busy working and while others are not, I can get irritated as well. Martha goes and tells Jesus to have her sister help her. What does Jesus do? Jesus defends Mary’s choice to sit at His feet and learn from Him. He warmly says, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious about and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
There will always be bills to pay, dishes to do, people to call, and needs to be met. Tragic things will happen and sometimes small things add up to overwhelm us. Whatever the source of our struggle is, Jesus is the good portion. He is our comforter. This last Sunday in worship we sang a beautiful hymn called, “What a Friend we Have in Jesus.” In there is a line, “We should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.” That short passage in Luke 10, not only teaches us that we should caste aside our anxieties and focus on Jesus, but transitions us to Luke 11, where Jesus teaches His disciples the Lord’s prayer. Prayer puts us at the feet of Jesus. Prayer allows to unload our burdens on God. God doesn’t promise us that we will never have more than we can handle. God promises to hear our prayers and to answer us. He came so that we can have a relationship with God. He came so that you could call the creator of the world, “Father.” A good father desires to help His children. God has the desire to help you, and the power to carry it out!
Joel Luckemeyer is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. He may be reached by calling 559-592-4070.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.