By Amy Richards
As many of you know, our family had quite a hiccup in the middle of our move. After a few months of living out of suitcases, we finally have a place to call “home.” There is much work to be done and little time for much else. So when I was approached at church to write something for the web, I was hesitant. “I am so busy,” I thought. “I can’t even think straight. What would I say at a time like this that would benefit anyone?”
But, in the middle of all our busyness, Daniel and I received word that a dear member of the small church in Arizona where we served was being moved into hospice. I cried. She and her sister-in-law would sit with me in prayer and worship in a small chapel off the cement path leading to the church.
The reality that our family was thinking about getting back to life while my dear sister in Christ was facing death brought perspective. I know our friend is strong in faith and had a dedicated prayer life. I know she is going to be with the God she knows, loves, and proclaims. I know this because of her joy, dedication, and simple faith. Her daughter writes that her mom is ready to go to “The Party.”
Our Arizona friend has no doubt. She knows the Shepherd’s voice and hears Him beckoning her to a new life. This assurance has brought her joy and her daughter peace during this time.
I want to be that sure. I want the voice of the Savior to be so distinct and familiar that there would be no question that the end of this life would be just a door to a reunion – a family party.
Earlier this year I was thinking about my relationship with Christ, and I started to ask myself, “Do I really know His voice? Do I trust Him as God’s only Son? Do I sincerely know Him? Can I testify to others about Him because of a relationship we have?” And the honest answer to those questions was “I don’t know.”
A Mary’s Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver is the book I picked up when I began to ask myself those questions. Honestly, I am challenged to get the reading in because of other life’s demands, but I am plugging away.
Reading the book reminds me that a lot of my relationship with Christ is faith. Faith is the belief in things hoped for, things unseen. Unlike Martha and Mary I didn’t get to be there when Christ physically walked the earth; but Christ says in John 20:29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.”
Yes, it is true that I have not physically seen Him, but I have experienced Christ in real, undeniable ways in my life and have been truly blessed. I remember these times in periods of doubt.
What I need is time at the Savior’s feet. Often these experiences bring me there. In His presence, love, and teaching, Jesus brings me through difficult times, but do I really need the difficult times to bring me to His feet?
I am often reminded that this life we know is short. So, so many come and go, generations continue, and we are not different. I want to be sure that the busyness that takes over at times does not overshadow the very reason I am busy.
And when the day comes that His voice beckons me to the eternal, and I am going to “The Party,” I will find joy and those I love will have peace.
I hope you find this summer read A Mary’s Heart in a Martha World is as helpful in your faith journey as it has been for me.