February 3, 2023
Finding a Holy Balance
Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3 NLT).
Friend to Friend
I had a list of things to get done – even though my back was killing me. When my husband walked in from work, I gave him a quick hug and resumed my almost frantic pace.
“What are you doing, honey?” Dan asked.
With one of my famous sighs, I responded, “I just need to get a few things done.”
“How’s your back?” Dan persisted.
With growing irritation, I answered, “It hurts!”
Dan quietly watched me for a few minutes. “You don’t know how to sit down, do you?” he finally said.
My first response was irritation - which quickly escalated into anger - until I heard the unmistakable prompting of the Holy Spirit affirming the truth Dan had spoken. I needed to learn how to stop, sit down - and rest.
“Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3 NLT).
But that list held me captive to unrealistic expectations in a ridiculous effort to prove my worth through what I did. It is an ongoing battle in my life. And I am not alone.
We all struggle with balance. What we really need is a holy balance only God can bring. The story of Mary and Martha, two very different women, offers valuable truths about balance that we can apply to our lives today.
Mary, more than any other person in the New Testament, is associated with sitting at the feet of Jesus. She demonstrated a right focus and balance in her life.
What does it mean to “sit at the feet of Jesus?”
First, we must stop. Mary stopped what she was doing - helping Martha in the kitchen - and came to sit at the feet of Jesus. Martha immediately began complaining that she had been left to do all the work while her sister wasted time sitting at Jesus’ feet.
There will always be someone who will misunderstand or complain when you choose to obey God and do what Jesus told Martha was “the better part.”
Luke 10:40-42 “But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so, she came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’‘’
Mary made a choice, and so must we.
Choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus requires decisive planning, purposeful scheduling, and a willful determination. God wants relationship building time with us every day. Like Martha, we forget the most important thing - time at the feet of Jesus.
I can squander away the best part of my day, leaving God with the leftover scraps of time, and then have the audacity to complain about the void of power and purpose in my life.
We make daily choices about where we invest our time as we run errands, plan meals, deal with children, and do laundry - but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God.
Waiting on God brings priorities into a right focus and releases the catalyst that may very well change my life course. Waiting is not passive. Waiting is active spiritual obedience. In each waiting room of life, God is at work preparing me for whatever lies ahead.
Are you desperate for the peace and a balance only God can provide?
Stop. Being wrapped up in God’s work can easily become a shabby substitute for being wrapped up in His presence, and we can only be wrapped up in God’s presence when we learn to sit at His feet and wait on Him.
Father, I’m tired of trying to prove my worth by what I do. I want to let go of everything except those things You have for me to do. Give me the strength to stop and rest in You. Help me live a life that reflects Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What does it mean to you to sit at the feet of Jesus? If you made the decision to sit at His feet, what three changes would you have to make in your life? Write them down. Put them into action.
More from the Girlfriends
A chapter in my book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, has a section on how to find holy balance in life. Learning these truths help us learn how to avoid the pits of life. Check it out! It is on sale this month!
© 2023 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.