In these strange and difficult times, we all need a reminder of where our hope is found…come to the Well…
By Shirley Fruchey
Luke 10:42, “But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.”
I’m one of those people who go into the grocery store for one thing and end up with my arms overflowing with items because I needed “one thing more.” Very quickly, items are all stacked precariously on my person, with things in danger of dropping here and there on my way to the check-out line. And, I just keep adding to the heap!
I usually go on like this until some kind soul offers to get me a cart. “I just came in for an extra carton of eggs,” I will say to the good Samaritan who just saved the store and me from an emergency, “clean up on aisle 7!”
Sometimes, that is also how our Christmas Season can feel. We try to focus on just one thing, the true and wonderful meaning of the season, but as we rush around trying to make everything “fit in” just perfect, we find ourselves adding to the heap! We try to squeeze in that last visit, gathering, or gift. The result often ends up being an emotional “clean-up on aisle 7” and a deflated Christmas spirit.
This year, however, is destined to be a much different kind of Christmas for everyone. This year we’ve had circumstances enter our lives that have us profoundly reflecting on how much God loves us and the gift he’s given us in his son Christ Jesus. (John 3:16.) And the truth is, sometimes we need to slow things down so that we can refresh and renew our enthusiasm about that miracle!
Many years ago, when my children were young, I had one of those years. I was a full-time wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I was working outside the home at a part-time job on top of it all. I was doing a balancing act worthy of a circus performer! That year on December 19 (funny how you can remember exact dates in life sometimes), I stacked the very last possible item up on my teetering Christmas “heap,” and it all came crashing down! “CLEAN UP ON ISLE 7!”
You see, it wasn’t enough that I had to make everything about my own Christmas perfect. No, I had to help everyone else make their Christmas perfect too! So, I offered to help a friend wrap her 1000 gifts (not speaking figuratively here) in her freezing cold garage on the night of the 18th. At the time, I didn’t know somewhere in my chaotic travels earlier that week I’d been exposed to the flu.
When I woke up in the early hours of the 19th with a fever and booming headache, I could almost hear my inner voice yelling TIMBER, like a lumberjack and the “pile of Christmas” came tumbling down! Confident everything was ruined, I crumbled into tears. My loving husband shook his head in amazement at the whirlwind his wife had become, gave me some flu medicine, and tucked me back into bed.
The next few days…I was down for the count! I prayed that God would heal my miserable aching body so that I could save Christmas! On day three, when I still felt like I’d been hit by the Polar Express, I knew I was spending the holiday in bed. So, I figured I might as well grab my Bible and read Luke Chapter 2, the Christmas Story. Then something remarkable happened.
My Bible fell open to Luke Chapter 10, where I’d placed a bookmark. It was the story of Martha and Mary, the sisters who were friends of Jesus. Then, my tearful eyes fell on verse 42, where Jesus said, “but only one thing is needed…”
Finishing all of my shopping was not needed. Wrapping everything up just perfect was not needed. That extra carton of eggs and everything else on my “heap” was NOT needed. Prayer, rest, and healing were definitely needed. Snuggling in my warm bed with my youngest child, also sick at the time, was needed. Reading God’s Word to him was needed. And I realized everything else would take care of itself. (Matt 6:25-25)
This year, may I encourage you to simply let yourself be surrounded by the miraculous gift God has given us in his son Jesus? Allow yourself to spend every day of this season in the Word of God, being filled, nourished, and healed by his Holy Spirit. Let yourself rest in knowing that “only one thing is needed….”
And, have yourself a “Mary” little Christmas now!
See you at the Well.
Shirley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org