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God Who Desires Presence Over Productivity

"God Who Desires Presence Over Productivity"

Kate Foster

I was in the kitchen baking the other day when my youngest son woke up from his nap, came straight to the kitchen and asked for what he faithfully asks for each time… to sit at the counter. Not even 2 years old, and he has learned that the one who sits close to the kitchen gets the goods. The extra latte foam, the beater covered in dough batter, or even chocolate chips for sitting so sweetly. While his brother is out playing in the yard, he delights in the gifts of being present for the process. It reminds me of Mary and Martha in Luke 10.

Jesus came to town and Martha invited him to her home. She immediately flew into hostess mode and was “cumbered about with much serving”. So much serving that it drove her to complaint and aggravation as she watched her sister sitting quietly at Jesus’ feet listening to Him teach.

“Lord, do you not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me!”

Martha was running while Mary was resting. And Jesus replied gently:

“Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But ONE THING is needful: and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her.”

Parenting has opened my eyes to so many parallels of God, our good Father. As I watched my son smile blissfully with frothy vanilla milk all over his mouth, I contemplated the gifts he has received that his brother did not. Do I love him any more than the one who plays outside unaware? Do my gifts handed to him reveal a favoritism in my heart? No! Absolutely not. They are merely gifts of being near. Benefits of sitting at the counter, choosing to be near to the Giver.

Mary and Martha were both loved by God, and both were created wonderfully and uniquely by God’s hand in their mothers womb. One chose to be filled with care and worry until she overflowed with jealousy, and the other chose to sit empty at the Teacher’s feet ready to be filled. Martha busied her hands with service while Mary sat quietly, hands still and empty, ready to hold whatever the Master handed to her.

Mary received “the good part,” while Martha only exhausted herself with service. Does this reveal a favoritism on Jesus’ part? No. Mary simply chose to be near, to enter His presence and glean from His wisdom.

My baby smiles at me from the table and I wonder how many gifts of sweet understanding and presence I have missed over the years while I busy myself serving in ministry or choosing to distract myself around my house, neglecting my Bible and prayer time. How many gifts of deepening faith, or comfort of the Holy Spirit have I passed up because I simply neglected to sit and listen? Oh, how our Good Father longs to give us good gifts. Will we sit long enough to receive them?

I can feel Him calling,

“Kate, Kate, you are careful and troubled about many things: will you please

choose the good part?”

Come to the table. Sit. Partake. He has substance for you. He simply desires for us to sit long enough to eat, and be filled. So come taste. You will see just how good He IS.

“O Taste and SEE that the Lord IS good…”

Kate Foster

ARH Staff Writer

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