It Takes Work to Rest!

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village ; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations ; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone ? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things ; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” ~ Luke 10:38-42

Just like many of you, I am busy and tired! Good grief! Not only am I semi-addicted to busyness (always “having to” think and plan, as my family tends to do by nature and personality), but I am truly and necessarily busy!

I am literally husband to Donna and father to Jocelyn and Autumn, along with attempting to be the loving, Monday-cooking, dish-washing, towel-folding, house cleaning, Uno playing, college supporting spouse and dad my household wants and needs. At this point in time I am temporarily pastoring three churches in three states, and it is really getting tough to remember which church I am supposed to be at on any given weekend, let alone calling/visiting the seriously sick and dying (3 of them!) staying organized with the day-to-day runnings of the local church, and preparing different Gospel messages for each congregation! Because I am making my fourth major move in two years, I am compelled to try and sell a home in one state, and look for housing in another state 4 hours away, while living in a third state! I was just notified that I will become the district pastor for my region next month, and that brings an entirely new world of people, phone ringing and busyness (in fact, I “retired” from that job a year ago so that I could be less busy in a another very hectic time! HaHa!) There’s plenty more (and I am sure my wife is doing even more!!!), but that’s enough for you to know that I can truly identify with you in your busyness!

We’re working hard ain’t we?

But do you know what is even harder work? Making time to participate with Jesus in His quiet, prayerful time and Rest with His Father in the Spirit, especially in the middle of all that busyness! Wowsa, now THAT is work!

I am used to reading the above passage in the light of Mary “resting” in Jesus, while Martha is being distracted from Jesus by work. There is much truth in that, no doubt, and in other insights about this story, and it seems to be a primary lesson. However, my personal experience in making quiet time to be with my Lord in this busy world lately convinces me that Mary is the hardest working sister in the room (Jesus is the hardest working brother – haha!) Like Martha, it doesn’t take much work to work! It really doesn’t take much effort in a system of distraction to be distracted by the work of food (you gotta eat!) the works of phone, Internet, dishes and clothes “screaming” to be washed, and the work that brings the necessary economic payoffs for meeting daily needs. It doesn’t take much work to bend with the peer pressure of work hard at meeting the needs of guests.

And Jesus’ words still strike like lightning through all of that precious hard work: “…you are worried and bothered about so many things ; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

For those of us who have participated with Jesus in His Rhythms of grace, including His quiet time and conversation with His Father, we know firsthand the goodness and rest of that “good part”. We find His yoke easy and his burden light, and a refreshing perspective and power for dealing with the sometimes necessary busyness of life. On the other hand we also know all too well the bad part and crushing burden of work in this world apart from the work of intentional and quiet time with him.

So, what is my point? I think it is simply to encourage you that in those times you find yourself breaking through the busy work, the peer pressure of others, and the guilt, shame, and distractions of everyday life to participate with Jesus in His relational quiet time with His Father in the Spirit, you are not being lazy or apathetic! Just the opposite, you are WORKING HARD with Jesus in the good part, baby, and it will not be taken away from you!

~ Timothy Brassell

6 comments so far

  1. Helen Brothers on

    Pastor Tim,

    I appreciate your being busy for the Father. You are helping us get a better understand of Him and how to live out our lives in Christ.

    You are right it’s hard work to rest in Christ, but it’s worth it.

    Thanks again. May the Holy Spirit energize you for your labor among us.

    Your sister in Christ,

    • tjbrassell on

      Hello Helen!

      I feel the energy level of the Spirit increasing as you share in His encouragement toward me! To know that others such as you are living in Him with a better understanding as a result of my participation in His life, too, thrills and humbles me!

      You are welcome, and thank you!

      Your Brother in Christ,


  2. Jeannine on

    This is wonderful, Pastor Tim! Many of my Christian friends seem so “antsy” about their standing with God and are driven to busy-ness and often the pursuit of glorious works to try to measure up. I’m so relieved to know inside that I don’t have to do that! – and that anything “good” that I do in my everyday life isn’t me at all anyway – it’s ALL God. And that His kindness and joy reflected to my children and the people I encounter is as important as that reflected on any mission field.

    • tjbrassell on

      Thanks Jeannine!

      You are certainly grasping and experiencing the point of my post! Awesome! I appreciate your recognition of your everyday mission field in Him. I can identify with your friends and their “antsy-ness” but thankfully, along with you, less and less because of the Gospel! Thank you Jesus!

      In Him,


  3. Jerome Ellard on

    Hang in there, Pastor Tim! We love you!

    • tjbrassell on

      And in Him I return to You His reciprocating Love, Brother Jerome! Thank you for your part in His caring and sharing!

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