Do You Know How to Sit Down? - Girlfriends in God - Aug. 13, 2012

August 13, 2012
Do You Know How to Sit Down?
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Psalm 5:3 (NLT) “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.”

Friend to Friend

I had a list of things to get done. Yes, my back was killing me and I was tired, but that list kept me hurrying around the house like the proverbial Energizer Bunny. When my husband walked in from work, I gave him a quick hug and resumed my almost frantic pace. “What are you doing, honey?” Dan asked. With one of my famous sighs, I responded, “I just need to get a few things done.” “How is your back?” Dan persisted. With growing irritation, I answered, “It hurts!” Dan watched me for a few minutes and then calmly stated, “You don’t know how to sit down, do you?” My first response was irritation which quickly escalated into anger – until I heard the unmistakable prompting of the Holy Spirit affirming the truth Dan had spoken. I needed to learn how to stop and sit down – and rest. But that list held me captive to unrealistic expectations in a ridiculous effort to prove my worth through what I did. It is an ongoing battle in my life. And I am not alone

We all struggle with balance and the inevitable battle with stress that struggle creates. When we refuse to balance the sometimes overwhelming demands of work, home, family, friends, and personal growth, stress will be the natural result. What we really need is a holy balance only God can bring. The story of Mary and Martha, two very different women, offers valuable truths about balance that we can apply to our lives today. 

A balanced life is focused on right things. Focus is always found at the feet of Jesus. Mary lived out this truth. In fact, Mary, more than any other person in the New Testament is associated with sitting at the feet of Jesus. 

What does it mean to “sit at the feet of Jesus”? First, we must stop. Now that is a novel idea for most of us, isn’t it? Mary stopped what she was doing - helping Martha in the kitchen - and came to sit at the feet of Jesus. Of course, Martha immediately began complaining that she had been left to do all the work while her sister wasted time sitting at Jesus’ feet. Listen, girlfriend, there will always be someone who will misunderstand or complain when you choose to obey God and do what Jesus told Martha was “the better part.”

Luke 10: 40-42 “But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’‘’

Mary made a choice and so must we. Choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus requires decisive planning, purposeful scheduling and a willful determination. Every day, God wants relationship building time with us, which means that time at His feet, in His presence must be our highest priority. Jesus gently rebuked Martha because she had forgotten what was most important.

It is amazing to me how I can squander away the best part of my day, leaving God with the leftover scraps of time and then have the audacity to complain that my life is void of power and purpose. Distractions come from every side. Some of those distractions are good and wonderful things, but they are all still wrong things if they keep us from stopping to spend time with God. We make daily choices about where we invest our time as we run errands, plan meals, deal with children, clean house, and do laundry - but fail to schedule the most important activity of all, spending time with God.

I absolutely hate to wait, on anyone or for anything. I tend to view waiting as a thief that robs me of control and forces me to face the unknown. However, waiting on God brings priorities into a right focus and releases the catalyst that may very well change my life course. Waiting is not a passive lost of time. Waiting is active spiritual obedience. In each waiting room of life, He is at work preparing me for the circumstances ahead. Psalm 5:3 (NLT) “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” From those still, quiet moments of waiting and seeking comes a balance and focus that takes root and grows. It is through the choice to wait on God that the seeking heart – the expectant heart finds every need met.

Are you desperate for the peace and a balance only God can provide? Then it’s time to stop, take inventory of the demands upon your time, and begin investing the best part of your day sitting at His feet. Being wrapped up in God’s work can easily become a shabby substitute for being wrapped up in His presence, and we can only be wrapped up in God’s presence when we learn to sit at His feet and wait on Him.   

Let’s Pray

Father, I am really tired of trying to prove my worth by what I do. I am tired of being responsible for everyone’s happiness – a burden you never intended me to carry. I want to let go of everything except the things You have for me to do. Why is it so hard for me to do that, Lord? Help me learn to see my worth in Your eyes alone. Give me the strength to stop and rest in You, knowing Your love is unconditional and does not depend on what I do or don’t do. Thank You for loving me, Father. Please help me to live a life that reflects that love.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read and memorize the following verses:

Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where He prayed.”

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters; He refreshes my soul.”

List three ways you can apply these verses to your life in the area of sitting at the feet of Jesus.

  1. __________________________________________
  2. __________________________________________
  3. __________________________________________

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Originally published Monday, 13 August 2012.