In my bid to understand God’s mind, I went through a mental list of commentaries on the word “worry”. I think it was Sir Winston Churchill who said, “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed, “I have had troubles, but then most of them did not happen, so I just allowed worry to take the best part of my life.”” Well, may this never be your portion in Jesus’ Name. The Bible also says a lot on ‘worry’. Luke 10:38-42 details Jesus’ invitation to the home of Mary and Martha, both of whom were Lazarus’s sisters. Now, Mary and Martha were both single women!
The point of note here is that both sisters invited Jesus into their home. If you don’t have anyone coming in to fellowship with you, you can start by inviting Jesus. Make it a point of duty to invite Him into your house and into your affairs. A popular chorus we sing goes thus: “With Jesus in the family, happy, happy home, Happy, happy home; Happy, happy home, With Jesus in the family, happy, happy home, Happy, happy home.” Jesus came in and sat down, probably wearied from His many journeys. As it was the custom in that culture, guests were usually welcomed by providing them water to wash their hands and feet and, of course, it was part of the courtesy to provide meals too. Thus Martha immediately went to work.
Jesus must have visited with His disciples because He never travelled alone! So Martha had to prepare meals, not just for Jesus but also for His company. You can then imagine how much work Martha had to do. However, it is noteworthy that while Martha ran helter-skelter in a bid to please Jesus, her sister, Mary, sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to him with rapt attention and momentarily punctuating His speech with questions.
Mary was wrapped in the company of Jesus and in her discussion with Him, that nothing else mattered to her; perhaps she did not even take notice that Martha was involved with making Jesus comfortable. Understandably, Martha got provoked and infuriated by the fact that she was not getting any helping hand from her sister and she did not hesitate in complaining to Jesus. However, Jesus’ response to Martha was a simple but surprising statement, “Martha you worry about too many things.” Worrying is a problem that is common with everybody, especially singles. The object of our worry varies from marital, financial, career issues to issues pertaining to future goals, health, family, etc. The road is not necessarily easier for the married person and, although most of us want to be married, married people will tell you confidently that life is tougher on their side.
Both single and married people have problems – the married seek for a way to be free while the single can’t wait to get in. No matter the side of the divide you are in, the truth is that “we all have challenges”. Therefore, the challenges are not the issues; it is the way you handle them that determines your finishing line.
Jesus said Mary found that ONE thing that is needful which cannot be taken away from her. Other things like money, emotional health can be taken or stolen from us but the one thing that answers to ALL, and is a solution to all is Jesus. Once found, He cannot be taken from you. Find Jesus and remain at His feet!
Now, worry and concern are synonyms but each has its different meaning. Worry sees the problem but concern seeks the solution to the problem. The Bible establishes the fact single people worry about a lot of things, just like every human being does. It is true that issues and circumstances rear their heads but how do you handle issues when they come up. By worrying or showing concern? The answer is simple: “Turn it over to Jesus and you can smile the rest of your life…”
Although a lot of people don’t understand the plight of single people, Jesus did and He still does. It was said that the majority of Jesus’ close friends were singles and that was not an accident. Singles often feel marginalized. That is why they are especially dear to Him. Remember Jesus was single as well. He feels what both the married and the single feel.
Martha was always willing to serve. The book of John records that Martha also served at a dinner organized for Jesus. Now Jesus did not rebuke her for her service; service will always promote. Rather she was rebuked for her tendency to always worry. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”. In the preceding verses of this passage, He asked, “How many of you by worrying can add a cubit to your lifespan?” The truth is, you destroy what already exists by worrying instead of repairing it. The truth is, if you worry so much about your children, spouse, job etc, to the extent that you allow worry to take its toll on you, you would only succeed in compounding the problems. So, why don’t you just quit worrying?
Jesus said, “Martha, you worry about too many things.” I guess there are some Martha’s reading this message today; some of you are male Martha’s while some are female Martha’s. The fact that you are single does not mean that you should allow worry to get the better part of you.
Remember you still have one more reason to go on!
- Pastor Taiwo Odukoya