I have been reading about Martha and Mary and was surprised by the line that struck me with power during this morning’s study. Each part of Martha’s plea was expounded in my mind to teach me what I needed to hear:
“Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.”
First, “My sister hath left me to serve alone”–there is so much more here. In essence is she saying:
1-This isn’t fair (I am sure she would have loved to learn at Christ’s feet instead of cook).
2- Sister Bonnie D. Parkin also brings to light how she is comparing and judging her state to her sister’s.
Martha feels like she is working so so hard while her sister gets to sit there–seemingly trial-free–and bask in the joy of learning from the Lord.
On the surface, those around us on social media or other outlets seem to put forth no effort and may have a seemingly trial-free life and are able to bask in so many blessings that feel withheld from us.
“Bid her therefore that she help me.” Martha does not lack faith in His power as she tells (not asks) Jesus to tell Mary to come help.
In the midst of my trials I never seem to lack faith that I know Heavenly Father has the ability to fix the problem and make it all better, and I may have a time or two been a bit demanding about my pleas for Him to take away my trial just as Martha essentially tells Christ what to do here.
But I think the monumental part of what Martha said is the preface in her statement: “Lord, dost thou not care…?”
I wonder if her words would have been different if she truly understood the Atonement that He would soon perform for her. There is for a surety no other greater act of love and sincere caring that was performed on this earth but she still first asked: “dost thou not care?”
I know in my mind and in my heart of the ultimate gift of the Atonement; however, during the darkest of lows and hardest of days I believe it is still our natural desire and most foundational, simple plea to know that He loves us. When all else around us seems to be failing and overwhelming our last breath, somehow the Love of the Lord in its simplicity and perfection is always what we need and always enough to stop the world from spinning around us.
A testimony of His love is foundational to all other faith and thus Martha begins her plea to the Lord for help with a request to be assured that He cares for her.
I hear so much weighing on Martha’s shoulders through this short sentence in the scriptures.
The beauty in this story for me comes from the Lord’s response as he says: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.” The Lord heard what she said but was able to look upon her heart and see the that she was “troubled about many things.” The Lord saw that there was more to Martha’s request than merely help with dinner. He saw all that was weighing on her heart and overwhelming her–as He sees us–and encouraged her–and us–to simplify and prioritize, to choose the good part and come listen to His words.