Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"Mary and Martha"

Mary and Martha
38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

We were picking up another one of the women at the other airport and had driven around and around a few times trying to figure out who we were there for. I was just talking to Little B about how I could understand that she didn't remember me, we really only saw each other once a year, and this time it had been more than a year. When she called...Martha. I was so excited to meet her all of the sudden, but had no idea why. Holy Spirit knew, He provided the sudden feeling of excitement! Mr A had me ask if she was upstairs or down and she said she was down, so he headed that way. When we came around the corner I told her what to look for and she spotted us right away. I saw her and thought "I don't know her, do I?" No, I didn't know her, yet, but God was going to change that very quickly. 

She got in and we introduced ourselves and I knew instantly that we were going to be good friends. Her love for God was so bold she lit up the day light. God whispered, "Martha and Mary..." Suddenly these verses flooded my mind and I knew God had planned for us to spend this quality time together; both of us in a moving vehicle so neither of us could do anything but enjoy the ride and sit at the feet of Jesus together, at least for the length of the ride. Soon I would understand why. We arrived at the beautiful Lakeview Camp and Retreat Center just as a caravan of the leadership team were unloading. I could barely wait for Mr A to park the car so I could jump out and run to get the hugs I had been waiting for. I jumped out squealing with joy and ran to the group of women I recognized and grabbed each one to hug them tight! My heart was so full and I knew that I was once again "home." 

 I ran back to the car just in time to grab my bags that were unloaded, thanks again Mr A. Martha had just lifted her bags out of the trunk and headed towards the entrance. I told Mr A and Little B bye and I would see them at their house on Sunday. Then I rolled my bags into the office and found Martha with her bags. We stood just chatting about me hoping I could get to a store for some drinks and she also wanted to go for some things she had forgotten at home. Since we were there very early and the team still had to set up we were recruited to help them unload and get stuff set up for the amazing weekend God had for each of us and all of us together. 

Martha was a little spitfire, I don't even know how many trips she made. I had been asked if I could put the speakers table together, which God reminded me I wouldn't have known how to do before I spent that time refurbishing my own tables with Him back in December. I got busy trying to get the 4 legs on this table. The first 2 were fairly easy, but the second 2 I struggled with getting to line up. Jesus brought me His songbird, K and she sat down on the ground with me and between the two of us we got those 4 legs on that table. After getting the meeting room set up we headed over to our cabins. God knew this weekend He was going to plant a seed of friendship and grow that friendship to a lifelong bloom in just these 5 days. 

We were in the same side of the same cabin, so we picked our bunks and picked bunks next to each other. God seems to surround me with understanding people everywhere He wants me. This time was no different, Martha was the most giving, selfless person I had been blessed to meet in a long time. She was bold in her love for God, she was transparent in her struggles and she was created to nurture others. As we unpacked some and got ready to go to the first evening of "Propelling Prayers" we shared about ourselves. Martha was open and wise as she ran around the little nook she was sharing with me. Then without even thinking about it she offered to make sure the bunks all got sprayed with Lysol and mattresses were flipped if needed. I really didn't unpack much I was too excited to get to see all the other sisters God was bringing to this weekend encounter with Him. So I was running around hugging sisters I hadn't seen since the last retreat, or even retreats from years before. Then we all headed out to dinner. I felt like she was my little sister and I had to make sure she was ok. Really God had purposely put us together. 

The first evening was mostly learning about each other and then a camp fire at the end of the evening. I will share more later about the amazing speaker at the campfire. We headed back to the cabin. There were a few of us, one of which was sweet Martha. After only 2 hours sleep the night before, a morning at the airport and then the long day I knew I would probably not be awake very much longer. I knew the girls were going to be up late, but my body was saying, NO! I laid down and put my headphones on. Put on my new favorite Praise list and started talking to my Poppa. I don't know how long it was before I drifted off into sweet peace, but I know when I woke up in the middle of  the night I was confused by the sparkly chaos that I got tangled up in??? I finally got free and climbed out from under my bunk with my flashlight. Then as I tried to quietly sneak between the bunks I ran right into something with my face?? I shined my light and saw that it was a shiny "Happy Birthday" banner...this brought tears to my eyes. I started immediately whispering to God what amazing sisters He gives me. I got back in my bed and put my headphones back on and thanked God for loving me so much. 

First thing in the morning I got up and came around the bunks and there was Martha, she came over and hugged me and said, "Happy Birthday Robin!!" I was still excited by the sparkly birthday everywhere, I squealed "thank you so much!!" We walked together to the breakfast hall and talked about her morning. She had shared she was in college and had to keep her homework up online while she was there. Her laptop had given her a hard time and she had to go hunting for internet. God had blessed her and she was able to find exactly what she needed. I told her how impressed I was and a few tears rolled down her face. She shared that she was grateful and knew this was what God was asking her to do, she was also struggling with some other feelings. Things at the retreat and her other areas. Right then God whispered, "tell her about the Scriptures I gave you for her." I argued that maybe it would be too harsh. I asked God to be glorified in the words and He was faithful. 

I shared that God had led me to the Scriptures about Martha and Mary when I first met her. I shared that Martha was so worried about serving others she forgot to sit at Jesus feet and just absorb all He had for her. Even if she had to take time to do the school work, He wouldn't let her down and if she would just sit for  a moment with Him, He was there, waiting. I hope she got what God wanted her to out of that word. I do know that as the weekend went on, I received many messages from God both from Martha and through who she is. 

The day we headed back to our friends home, we didn't ride together. I was excited to get to spend one more evening with her since our flights left the next day. It was not just us, but several other sisters that had plans to stay with M and her family. We all sat around and talked, shared what God had given us. Sweet Martha was exhausted and she laid down at my feet with a pillow and dozed off. She slept for quite a while and then went upstairs to rest. When she came back down she was rested. We all watched the pictures of the retreat, for a long time. They had gotten some wonderful and transparent pictures of Martha worshiping...Her heart was so buried in Jesus. 

That night we shared a room. In it was a twin bed and a twin air mattress. Martha started to prepare the air mattress to sleep on. I walked over and told her that she was sleeping on the bed, not the air mattress. She said no it's ok. I would not take no for an answer. So she finally agreed. We got into our beds and we shared words from the retreat. God reached right through her that night...He grabbed a part of me and I will never be the same. This woman who didn't know me just a few days before, well she had come to know me. I also came to know her. 

She boldly shared a message from God that night with me, one that I had been running from...until then. There are so many things I could share about this sister God brought me this year. I know this is long, but I wanted to make sure that I shared the impact that God made through this sister, this woman who finally laid down and rested. Since the retreat we have talked on the phone and text several times, God brought her into my life. This was her word in my book of prophesy...

She said she can't remember why she wrote "Teapot" down...but God shared why with me.

Martha I love you. I am thankful for your willingness to share some hard words from God...without any hesitation. You are a beacon...make sure you are taking time to be still with our Poppa.

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