My heart and my flesh fail, but God is the strength of my heart. All that I need.

One Thing

Women Impacted by Jesus – part 11

When I awoke, I knew that today was the day. A deadline was looming and this was the only day I had to accomplish the task. I awoke with a sense of resolve. Then I opened my eyes. My eyes took in the reality of my current surroundings and a lump began to form in the back of my throat. My mind began a mental rundown of my “to do” list for the next 24 hours and tears began to form in my eyes. I temporarily escaped by jumping into the shower, but I still had to face the day.

The irony of this testimony?  The task that confronted me on that day was writing a reflection on the oh-so-familiar account of Martha and Mary recorded in Luke 10:38-42. Take a moment. Read the passage.

With a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and clutter in my mind, I heard the voice of Jesus saying, “Jen, Jen, you are worried and upset about many things! There is only one thing worth being concerned about.” (My personal paraphrase of Luke 10:41-42) One thing. One priority. Time with Jesus.

Now I knew what to do. I sent a text to a friend asking for prayer. (Never underestimate the value of The Body – God’s gracious gift to you!) I found a quiet place. I closed my eyes. I opened my heart. I heard this truth resonate in my mind, “Whom have I in heaven but You?” I opened an app on my phone & began to read Psalm 73  “My heart was grieved…I was vexed in my mind…” (vs. 21 NKJV) Yep. Then, these beautiful words spoken from the heart of God Himself, “I am continually with you (Yes, even in this moment). I hold you by the hand (Yes, right now). I will guide you with My Counsel (Lean in and listen). This will be enough (your portion) for today.” Wow. Yes. It is good for me to draw near to God. Soak it in for yourself by reading Psalm 73:21-28.

So, what about Martha? Did she find opportunity to apply the “one thing” principle taught to her by Jesus? The account in Luke 10 ends without answering that question. But Martha had other encounters with Jesus. In John 11, Martha finds herself in circumstances where, once again, she could be worried and upset about many things. Her brother Lazarus is dead. Many people have come to provide comfort. But when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him. (vs. 20) One thing. One priority. Time with Jesus.

I am astonished by the conversation and transformation that occurs as Martha spends time, mere moments, really, with Jesus. (John 11: 21-27) Martha begins with a statement of grief, followed by a profession of faith. Jesus takes her deeper with His astounding revelation, “I am the resurrection and the life,” followed by His question, “Do you believe this?” I hold my breath and wait for Martha’s response. “Yes, Lord,” she replies, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Yes, Lord. I believe. You are the One.

Time with Jesus changes everything. Martha reemerges from this encounter with clarity, ready to reengage. Martha finds her sister Mary. I’ll let you enjoy the rest of the story without my commentary. (John 11:28-45)

My flesh and my heart fail. Yes. Even today. But God is the strength of my heart, even at this moment, and my portion, all that I need. Forever.

Jen Vogel

Jen served as national director for Alliance Women from 2015-2023; she serves in a variety of ministry capacities, including on the President's Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle daily. Jen and her husband, Doug, attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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