VII

I didn’t see this one coming.

There’s this thing I’ve been struggling with for a while, and I shared it some weeks ago with my friends. I’d been trying to figure out how to “cure” it, yet I never imagined that the answer would be what it is.

There are moments (very often) where I get anxious about the amount of people in the world. I try to imagine the way everyone lives, that every time I glance at a screen it shows me the existence of more people, even a movie or a video…all I can think is “that person actually exists and is out there right now, I wonder how they’re doing”, that a city can be so filled with people yet that it is only one tiny part of the world, that just looking out the window can make me restless. And it’s because each individual soul has their own life, their own reality, but a lot of the times that reality isn’t good. There is so much pain and it hurts me so much. My response to that has been hurting, anxiousness, restlessness, a longing to take the pain away from them and fly over everyone like Superman (certainly not the correct response, I know).

Once I shared about it and asked for their thoughts, one of them told me that maybe I should be still. She said there is a time for being out there and a time for just being still. I heard it, but my heart didn’t process it yet. Recently I listened to a podcast, as usual, but this one hit home. It gave me the same response.

I’m gonna go with bulletpoints.

  • The “should” mentality (striving) dismisses the grace of God
  • Relationship with God is not based on what we do (it wasn’t before the relationship, and still isn’t)
  • God saw us in our deepest, darkest sins, in the ugliest place we could’ve been, looked at us and said “you are mine, and I love you” — there, where we could do nothing to make Him love us, He did.

The following comes from a blog post on InterVarsity by Casey Groff — The Problem With Striving and The Beauty of Abiding

  • John 15 — God is the gardner and vinedresser, as well as the vine — we can do nothing apart from Him
  • God wants to take the withered, weary branches and nourish us, making us strong in Him; in order that we may produce long-lasting, God-glorifying, kingdom-advancing fruit
  • The Creator of the universe wants you to partner with Him not because He needs you but because He loves you
  • Instead of working harder and trying to do everything by our own (limited and flawed) power, strength, and strategy, we get to do every day in, through and with God
  • Sitting like Mary at Jesus’ feet may feel counterproductive, but it is in this posture that we can truly discover what Martha was missing out on: being with Jesus
  • Every time I think I’m so important to the mission of Jesus (or fret about not doing enough), or I think I need to be busier and do more to accomplish His will on earth, I overlook the cross. I forget my limited nature and convince myself I (or the world) don’t need what He has done for me. I grow hardhearted, tired, and angry, and don’t even get to enjoy the life He died to give me!

Yes. Wow. What I was doing went to the point of overlooking the cross. I don’t want that.

Whenever I heard the Mary and Martha teaching, I never thought I would relate. It always made complete sense to me what Mary was doing, so I didn’t think I’d ever be here writing about Martha.

And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.

But Martha was distracted with much serving

…And Jesus answered and said to her,

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.

But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:39–42 (NKJV)

Long story short, what He did on the cross is bigger than what I think others need.

People can have peace thanks to Him, therefore so can I.

Obviously, this isn’t a “sit and do nothing”. Faith without works is dead, but it’s about the place that your heart puts it. Works cannot be over Him; He must remain on top.

Finally, a quote from Katie Davis Majors mentioned in the podcast.

It is not our productiveness for God that counts, it is our worship, our time at His feet. It isn’t our public life, the accolades, the well-dones and the applause of the world that matters. It is our silent, continuous reach for Him in the places where no one is watching. It isn’t our world-changing that makes a difference, it is the way we let Him change and shape our hearts to more reflect His. The only thing that matters is Him. Not what we do for Him, but that we know Him.

Friend, I know you love Him. He knows your heart. He loves you, too. He loved you first. Be loved, beloved.

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Let every word of my mouth be according to His truth. If not, please let me know, I’m listening.

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