Careful—But Not Careful! #6

Thursday, April 2, 2020

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

Friend, as we live in these strange times, let us “be careful for nothing!”

In Luke chapter 10, we read about sisters Mary and Martha. (According to John chapters 11 and 12, they are actually Lazarus’ sisters.) The Bible says Martha hosted the Lord Jesus in her home. Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (verse 39). Yet, Martha “was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me” (verse 40). That Greek word rendered “cumbered” means “drawn around, distracted, driven about mentally, over-occupied, too busy.” Martha was hypervigilant, fretting about serving (likely food to her “honored Guest?”).

The Lord calmed her with a gentle rebuke: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (verses 41,42). “Careful” here is the Greek word identical to the one rendered “careful” in today’s Scripture: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Martha’s problem was anxiety: her circumstances distressed her and diverted her attention away from listening to Jesus’ words. On the other hand, her sister Mary had left her, and was now sitting at His feet and listening to Him teach spiritual truth. Mary would not be distracted like her sister, for she knew the Lord’s teaching was of greater value than her own efforts. Similarly, as Philippians chapter 4 says, instead of allowing our circumstances to sidetrack us, we simply pray the Pauline way. Prayer is the means whereby we reinforce in our minds what the Lord already said about those conditions. Therein is spiritual stability during such situations….