This seems to have been a strange time for Jesus to call for Martha. It came when there was no longer any need for her common, workaday practicality and she was about to sit down. He called for her when the work that she was gifted and experienced to do had come to an end. The need for the work of her hands no longer existed and a time of waiting was about to begin. He called to her in a moment when it would have been very easy for Martha to say to herself, “I no longer have any work to do. The tables have all been served, the guests have all been seen, I don’t have to tend my sick brother or take care of any further funeral arrangements – my work is done. It was at that moment that the call from Christ came to Martha. It was at the end of her day that the Lord’s day for her began. It was just when the need for her unique gifting had become settled and still that Jesus knocked.
Isn’t that the way Jesus so often works in our lives? Doesn’t it seem that Jesus many times knocks at the door that we’ve so long neglected, rather than at the door of our special ability or giftedness? How many times has he brought us out through a gate that we didn’t enter or down a path that we’ve never trod? Why then does Jesus so often block the particular path that we are so comfortable in traveling? You say, “He does it so that we will learn not trust ourselves.” No, He does this so that we might learn to trust ourselves in more and new directions.
Why should everything that we do be done out of those gifts that we are so comfortable and confident in using? Aren’t we all created different, with many unique and special abilities? Aren’t we each and everyone different – distinct – from each other? Why then does God strip us sometimes of our ability to serve in an area that we are so well experienced and equipped? Does He do it to show us how helpless we are? No, He does this to reveal to us an ability that we perhaps never even knew we possessed.
Is there no other area of ministry than service? Is there no need for the Marys of this world? Is there no blessing for those who are called to simply stand for Jesus? Is there no place for those who can wait patiently on the Lord? What about that wonderful, powerful work that never makes any noise or commotion at all – the surrender of our will. What about those who suffer without complaint? What about those who bear up under tremendous burdens and trials and yet never doubt the Lord?
How did these come to such a meaningful call from Christ? They came through the shadows of the night. There was a time when they were much like you and me. There was a day when they only believed in that which they could do with their hands or see with their eyes. But God brought that day to a close and the need for their strong, steady hand ended. It was then that the Lord called to them down another path, from an unseen door, and something inside of them responded to the call of Christ and said, “I have found that door that I have so long neglected.”
Serve the Lord in those areas that He has gifted you, but always be willing to respond when He calls you to a new and different place of service. Listen for Him. Wait on Him. Obey Him. For when Christ calls to you, and you heed His call, it is then that you will leave the work of Martha’s kitchen and sit with Mary to worship at the feet of Jesus.