“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42(NIV)
Picture a one hundred year old woman. She is blind and bedridden, but she is smiling as if she has a secret, a hidden treasure that lights up the dark room to which she is confined.
She lives in a nursing home. On her nightstand, next to a pillbox and a pitcher of water there is a Bible.
Her husband died decades ago, and she is alone now. Her children are in their seventies, in failing health, and living far away, so visits are infrequent. Occasionally, one of the ladies from her church will visit, but there is little to talk about because all of her close friends have already gone to be with the Lord. Therefore, she depends on the nurses and staff for all of her needs.
She spends her days remembering the full, happy and sometimes challenging life she has lived. During the remaining hours she prays for those who minister to her: her doctors, nurses and staff; her children, extended family and acquaintances. When someone comes to her door, her blue eyes come to life and her lips form a smile. “I prayed for you today,” she says.
Now picture yourself in her place. What is the one thing in your life that will remain when everything is stripped away? Gone are all the “many things” that competed for your attention. Gone are the schedules, deadlines and projects. Your needs are few now. You have no home to clean, no children or grandchildren to care for, no financial obligations.
“Few things are needed—or indeed only one.” What is that one thing that is better than all the rest? What is that one thing that will not be taken away from you? What is it that makes you smile? What is that which is so clear, in spite of your blindness? Is it just the memories? No. Those could be gone in an instant if Alzheimer’s or dementia took hold of your mind. No. That special treasure is Jesus, your relationship with him. Though you are confined to a dark room, though your present world is shrinking, you can see Him clearly. You trust his promises. Your future stretches out before you: a kingdom that has no end. And you smile, because like Mary, you have chosen “what is better”, and it will not be taken from you.
Dearest Heavenly Father,
Your presence in our lives is a gift that lasts forever. Though we live in a temporal world, in a body that ages and decays, our life with you is forever. Thank you for your love. Thank you for allowing us to live daily in your presence, and for your promise that You will be with us forever when this life is finally over.
In the name of Jesus, the one and only,