Thursday, September 8, 2022

Overcoming a Distracted Mind


By: Donna Bucher


Mocking me, my "To Do" list evidenced the insufficiency of my sixteen waking hours for accomplishing the pressing needs of my day.

Reviewing my schedule demands often tempts me towards shaving time off of my devotional encounters with Jesus.

Most of our schedules require polished juggling skills if we have any hope of accomplishing anything in our days. Busy moms bearing the responsibility for the "family schedule" often feel badgered by unending scheduling demands.

Leaving no margin; our schedules result in instant anxiety when encountering changes, delays or intrusions.

Everything feels important and necessary; we ruthlessly eliminate fluff which often includes shortcutting Quiet Time with God.

Martha of Bethany understood perfectly how the pressures of the day distract us from following Jesus. (Luke 10:38-42)

She knew Jesus as Messiah, when He came to her home, likely with disciples in tow, her only thoughts centered on serving Him well.

In the grip of anxiety she confronts Jesus about Mary's lack of help with serving.

Gently Jesus reveals a flaw in the plan: her service, rooted in anxiety rather than love, led to grumbling and resentment.

Martha, like us, troubled about her overwhelming To Do list, lost sight of the importance of lingering with Jesus. Her mind, submerged in the demands of her time, she forfeited the life giving calm found only in the Presence of her beloved Messiah.


I love the way Jesus draws Martha's focus away from herself and her anxiety to Him.

I see myself in her place, wringing my hands, rushing about, and finally in sheer frustration, sidling up to Jesus with my complaint; so filled with anxiety I barely make eye contact as I toss my resentful expectation His way.

But then His voice says her name; “Martha, Martha”, (Luke 10:41) full of love and compassion

In a moment everything changed for Martha, for she gazed upon the One Thing needed which spoke calm to her storm that day.

Kindly, Jesus acknowledges Martha's overwhelm; indeed many things pressed upon her, good things, urgent things, but not needful things.

Her encounter with Jesus resulted in 3 things which overcame her distracted mind.


Jesus then draws her in further by reminding her only one thing is necessary; lingering with Him.

In the midst of the pressing, critical, and urgent needs, hearing and knowing Jesus remains my one truly necessary thing.



Choosing the one necessary thing results in joyfulness, not drudgery. At first glance it seems Mary haphazardly shirked her responsibilities, but in actuality she chose wisely from a heart of love.

Exchanging the urgent for lingering with Christ offers me the living water of hope, peace, and joy satisfying my every need and giving my soul rest.



Mary received the blessing of security in choosing a spot at Jesus' feet. Not only was she the recipient of hope, peace, and joy in hearing and knowing her Messiah, but the good He promised remained secure, removed by no one.

When I make the same choice, Jesus promises this good part to me, as His love flows freely to me, and nothing I face in my day alters my position with Him. (Romans 8:35-39)


Instead of entering your days proving your worth through your ability to handle your To Do list, pause a moment and hear Jesus call your name as He did Martha's.

Begin your day remembering God's unfailing love; put your hope into the hands of the One who holds all things together in the palm of His hand.

 The Presence of Jesus is your good portion, your joy, your safe place; the one thing your troubled, anxious soul needs today.

Come, drink of the surpassing worth of your Messiah. You have time to linger with Jesus.


Like me, have the demands of your To Do List held you hostage keeping you from spending time with Jesus?

Has your anxiety and overwhelm afflicted you with restlessness, discontent and feelings of insecurity?

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you my sweet friend. This was a very timely article for me. 💚💜


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