Martha’s rebuke of her sister Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet to listen to him instead of helping Martha serve their guests, revealed that Jesus was not the in right place in Martha’s heart. And so, her soul craved the significance that came from serving. Like Mary, when our soul is out of fellowship with Jesus, we are always craving more—which is why our radar is always on and searching for the next enticement.
Christianity often feels like more stuff to do. But according to Jesus, the core of the Christian experience is rest. Those most mature in Jesus are not those working hardest for him but those resting best in him. Until you learn to rest correctly in Christ, all of your work for Christ is going to be off. God created the world in six days and rested on the Sabbath. We should, too.
No light. No hope. That’s how Jeremiah felt, and maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve also felt like God is not listening—or, even more, you wonder, “God, are you behind this terrible circumstance?” Jeremiah’s lament is an honest reflection of how Jeremiah feels, even if it doesn’t fully account for everything God was doing. When you cannot see or understand how God is working in your life—through your pain, even—it’s OK for you to be deeply honest with him.
Distraction is not the same as divine interruption. Jesus seemed to be entirely “indistractible” on the one hand but imminently interruptible on the other. He’d be doing one thing, and all of the sudden some divine opportunity would arise, and he’d stop what he was doing and engage in that. And, he taught us that if we are going to follow the Holy Spirit, we are to live the same way.
Into the very fabric of creation, God established that life was to be a rhythm of work and rest. We don’t take a day of rest because there is nothing else to do but because we trust God to be our provider and our security. Sabbath is just as much about our declaration of God’s strength as it is an admission of our weakness.
Like any good father, God allows his children to go through some pain, but he never enjoys it, and he only allows it because he knows that the pain will ultimately produce greater joy. We can trust that God is good because of what his Word reveals about his character. He saved the children of Israel from slavery when he didn’t have to. He sent Jesus to die for our sins when he didn’t have to. We see Jesus’ heart break over every lost sinner and every suffering soul.