Friday, February 13, 2015

A Visit at Martha's House: The Clamor

But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; (Luke 10:41 NASB)

Worried and bothered. 

Those are the words Jesus used to describe Martha, and they could likely describe us, as well. We saw in the previous post that the word translated as "worried" came from a root word meaning "divided". We turn now to the word translated as "bothered". The word is thorybaz┼Ź and is defined as "disturbed". The root word from which it is derived paints a wonderful word picture that describes a worried heart quite nicely. Thorybos is defined as "a noise, tumult, uproar" and is used to describe a clamoring, rioting crowd. Isn't that how worry attacks our mind? When we focus on our perceived problems or what might become our problems, they can occupy our minds just as a large number of people might fill a room past a comfortable capacity. 

Selah. Pause and consider.

Stop for a moment and think about the issues and possibilities that trouble you. Think about how quickly they can occupy your mind, becoming a tumult of confusion that crowds out your peace, your joy, your hope. Just as Martha found that her worries about the preparations for Jesus and His disciples crowded out her desire to sit at his feet and learn from Him, so, too, when we allow worries and fears to overtake us, they can crowd out our desire to follow faithfully. Our Lord intended that we have singleness of purpose, with our sole intent being to follow Him in obedience, trusting that He would meet every need. 

The problem often comes when He meets our needs but not our desires. It is then that we have the opportunity to press in, know Him better, allow Him to change our desires. What happens instead, all too often, is that we resent the provision He sends, demand more, then accuse God of not caring when he does not provide that which He did not mean for us to have. Our resentment opens the door to frustration and the clamoring crowd of worry and fear that can easily overtake us. 

We, like Martha, have a choice. We can turn our focus away from Jesus and allow the clamor of worry and fear to crowd our minds or we can turn our focus to Jesus and Him only, trusting that He will handle every need we have, every situation that comes our way. 

We cannot be a follower without following. Dear ones, if we claim to be followers of Jesus, then we must follow. There is no room for divided loyalties, no room for a heart and mind filled with the clamor of worry and fear. 

We learned this song as children, but there is great truth in the words.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."
Helen Lemmel, 1922(1)

Today, let's do exactly what these beautiful words recommend. Turn our eyes to Jesus and look full in His wonderful face. We might be surprised by the sweetness we find when His glory and grace replace our clamor and fear.

(1) Accessed 2/12/15