In Luke 9 Jesus has just crossed the hot deserts of Samaria where he had given up hope of Israel ever receiving him as their Messiah. He knew that his God given purpose to die on the cross for the sins of the world was going to happen soon. He made his way to the home of Mary and Martha who were his friends hoping to share all of his emotions and find comfort.
Martha’s first thought when she saw him enter was food centered. She immediately kicked it into high gear and began making preparations to serve him a meal. But Mary, whom you always find mentioned as sitting at Jesus’ feet, ignores all of the flurry going on in the kitchen while she gives Jesus her full attention.
When Martha complains to Jesus, Jesus tells her that Mary has chosen “the good part”.
In the chapter titled “The Growth of the Reflective Life” of Ken Gire’s book SEEING WHAT IS SACRED, he better illustrates just what Jesus meant:
“Imagine a sumptuous Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. Hillocks of mashed potatoes and dressing, sluiced with gravy, hot buttered rolls, cranberry sauce, an assortment of salads, trays of deviled eggs, olives, sweet pickles, slabs of pumpkin pie daubed with homemade whipped cream. All those things look wonderful, smell wonderful, taste wonderful.
Now imagine that meal without a turkey.
The portion around which all the other food is centered is the butter-basted turkey, cooked golden brown and filling the entire house with its mouthwatering aroma. That is the “good part” of the Thanksgiving meal.
Without intimate fellowship with Christ, the Christian life is just a buffet of so many side dishes and relish trays.”
How many times since the death of my husband have I asked God, “Why am I here? What is my purpose now if I am no longer to be a wife? What’s the point?” How many times have you asked those very same questions?
I now believe this is the purpose of every widow – to chose “the good part” of learning how to have that intimate fellowship with Christ. “How do I do that?” you may ask. I would say that first of all you have to come to the point where you can be still. That’s hard to do when you are struggling so hard to find your identity and you want to find it in a hurry because you don’t like being out in that place of limbo where grief throws you. I can’t tell you how long it may take you to get to that point. For some, it may come sooner than for others.
Once you can be still, then your heart will be ready to “hear” God’s still, small voice and the communication can begin. You may feel His stirring in your heart as you are reading your Bible. Or perhaps you find that Christian music fills up your heart with Him. It may be that He speaks in the rustle of the pages of a book you are reading. God can commune with you through the beauty of nature. Theses are just a few of the countless ways that I am finding “the good part”.
I challenge you to stop struggling so hard against what grief has brought to you. Instead, lean into it and just be still so that you, too, can find “the good part”.
This is absolutely beautiful Candy! Looking back, I see how we have both traveled parallel paths on this journey, “knowing Him, and the power of His resurrection… and the fellowship of His sufferings…”
All three elements are necessary, it’s a package deal. So grateful to you for your part in the journey.
Yes. A package deal that causes us to grow spiritually even when we want to just stay where we are. Thanks for always reading, Kathy.
Wonderful post. I too have gone this route. I find God in stillness, prayer life, song, nature and small, routine everyday tasks. I just hung “Be Still and Know that I am God” on my bedroom wall. Thanks so much, Candy. You have helped me in so many ways.
When you have a lot of time alone, you find that suddenly you have time to finally just be still and learn to know God in a more intimate way. It’s not a path we would have chosen for ourselves, but I am thankful to be able to see something positive in our grief and loss. Thank you for your kind words, Carol.
Candy I love this!! Always need a reminder to be still especially in this hustle and bustle world we live in. I’ve been able to slow down and be still more in the last year and I’ve been beyond blessed by it!! Thank you for your thoughtful and kind reminder!!
You are welcome. I need the reminder as well, Angela.
Love this, Candy. “Be still and know I am God.”
To be still is difficult in this fast paced world. For widows with children still at home, it becomes extremely difficult. For widows with grown children, it is easier if she isn’t afraid to just be still.