As women, mothers, and wives, it’s easy to get caught up in planning meals, hustling at work, satisfying your man, and taxiing kids around…and then feel exhausted at the end of the day. We long for purpose. And peace. And direction. We are all chasing after the perfect life, but underneath the glowing posts we share on social media, our faith feels stagnant and God seems distant.
And yet, God has a purpose for each of us, and the satisfaction He wants us to find isn’t waiting for us in retail therapy, self-help, and hustle. It’s waiting in a person, Jesus Christ. And the perfection we so desperately seek isn’t found in chasing all the things, but in a relationship with the Savior of our souls.
Meanwhile, as we struggle to understand this truth, God is patient with us because He knows our hearts. He knows we are anxious about everything. He knows we need a raging peace—a peace so overwhelming and powerful that it surpasses all understanding as it guards our hearts and minds
Many stories in the Bible can resonate with our hearts as women. But the one that unpacks the mystery of chasing Perfect is Jesus’ conversation with Mary and Martha.
In Luke 10:38, we find Jesus entering the village of Bethany. Martha, her sister, Mary, and her brother, Lazarus, lived there and welcomed Jesus and His followers into their home. In the passage, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His teaching.
Martha, on the other hand, was fulfilling the job description of a typical woman of that time. She was in the kitchen serving. As Martha was running around handling all the preparations, she became angry with her idle sister. Finally, she had enough and marched right over to Jesus and told Him, “Make Mary help me.”
At that moment I can only imagine Jesus cracked a small and compassionate smile. He sensed her anger and distraction. He felt her worry and anxiety. He knew—just as He knows with each one of us right now—that she needed a mighty word of truth that would call her to a greater purpose and deeper peace. So He gently replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary” (verses 41-42).
Jesus stopped Martha in her tracks when He said her name. When I was a kid, I knew some profound correction was coming if Mom said my name more than once. It was her way of getting my immediate attention. Jesus did the same with Martha. He said her name not once, but twice. Directly and gently, He called her by name and then admonished her behavior with great compassion. With a few intentional words, He helped Martha realize He didn’t have her full attention.
And if something doesn’t have your full attention, it doesn’t have your full affection.
God doesn’t take a back seat. He isn’t plan B. As the Creator of the universe, He deserves to be first and foremost in our lives. Martha was learning that even though she was doing all sorts of good things, she had her priorities backward. We often talk about priorities as if they can be quickly corrected and their order is not of all that much importance. In reality, they are a reflection of our hearts and what we deem to be important. Our priorities reflect what we worship.
As we reflect on Martha’s story over the next few days, it will become clear that Jesus wasn’t just trying to get Martha’s attention and affection—He was trying to get to her heart.