“I just try so hard to be good enough,” I sobbed.
For months, the stress had been building. The to-do list, the exhaustion, the expectations, the self-doubt . . . they kept piling up, until finally, I collapsed under their weight.
My mother took me in her arms, comforting me. I don’t remember her exact words, but they went something like this: You don’t have to be “good enough,” because Christ has already done the work.
And suddenly, all the other stuff didn’t matter so much.
It was a Martha moment.
When Jesus went to visit Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), each of the two sisters responded in totally different ways. Mary sat at His feet, listening to His every word. Meanwhile, Martha was stressing. She was trying to be the perfect hostess, and her sister wasn’t even helping! How could she just sit there like that?!
Finally, Martha could handle it no more: “Martha, burdened with much serving, came to Him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.'”
I don’t know exactly what was going through her head, but I imagine she expected affirmation from Jesus — maybe, “Thanks for all the hard work you’re doing, Martha,” or even, “Mary, why can’t you be more like her?”
Imagine how she felt when she heard Jesus’ answer: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is only need of one thing…”
Perhaps her face turned bright red, as her pride turned to shame. Maybe she turned her eyes, blazing just moments earlier, down to the newly swept floor as she let his words sink in. Imagine how her heart softened as she realized the truth in Jesus’ words: “Mary has chosen the better part.”
In Jesus’ eyes, it was more important for them to sit and listen to His words, to be with Him, than to worry about all the serving.
“There is need of only one thing,” He said. And that one thing is a person: Him.
There are moments in life when we need a little bit of Martha. We need to take care of our responsibilities and work hard. We want to practice hospitality, and we are called to serve others. But the completion of tasks should never push our precious time with God out of the way.
And we need to remember something very important: Our value does not come from the way our friends see us. It doesn’t come from the way teachers or supervisors see us. It doesn’t come from being a brilliant student, a star athlete, or a talented artist.
Although the physical person of Jesus doesn’t come through our front doors to visit us the way He did Mary and Martha, He does come to us in another way. We have God’s precious words in Scripture, and he responds to us there.
When we say, “I’m exhausted,” God says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
When we say, “I’m weak,” God says, “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength . . .” (Isaiah 40:31).
When we say, “I’m afraid,” God says,”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:24).
When we say, “I’m not good enough,” God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be the best. We don’t have to be “good enough.” And we should stop working ourselves up over it. Because in His eyes, we are worth dying for.
And you know what else? He is more than enough for us.