Summary: This sermon was a part of a series I did during our church's annual 21-day church-wide fast. We were looking at different elements of a fast. This message focuses on a fast as a time to simply sit at the feet of Jesus and enjoy His presence.
Today I want to take a closer look at the life of a woman we meet in the Bible. She seems to have this “intimacy with God” thing figured out about as well as anyone. Her name is Mary. And the interesting thing about Mary is where you often find her in relation to Jesus in various accounts in the Bible. She is often sitting at His feet
At His feet in sorrow
John 11: 32, “Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Mary expressed her disappointment and lack of understanding. “Lord, if You had just shown up when we needed You, this wouldn’t have happened.” If we’re honest, many of us have felt the same way:
-- “Lord, why didn’t You show up and save the day?”
-- “Why did You let my marriage fall apart?”
-- “Lord, why did you let my loved one die?”
-- "Lord, why did you let my business go under?”
Yet, by positioning herself at His feet, she expressed her continuing regard for Him as her Lord and Savior. There are times when we experience a crisis or a trial and we can look back on it later and see the reason for it or what we gained from it. But there are also trials in life that we have a hard time understanding on this side of glory:
1. “Why did my child have to die?’
2. “Why was I born with this condition or disease?”
3. “Why hasn’t the Lord healed me or taken me to Heaven?”
But, like Mary, I’ve seen too much of my Savior’s power, provision, and goodness to start second-guessing Him now! Mary had seen the miracles, been transformed by His teaching, and forever touched by His love. So, even though she didn’t understand what He was doing (or not doing) now, she still placed herself at His feet.
Jesus shares our pain
John 11: 33 – 35, “Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.”
I find it interesting that, although Lazarus’ death had been God’s will -- and even though Jesus knew that He was getting ready to raise him from the dead… He still cried at the tomb. Why? I believe He was moved by the pain of those He loved. Friends, there are times in our life when we face tragedy, loss of loved ones, bitter disappointments, and heartaches. We pray for a situation to end one way and it becomes apparent that God willed something else to happen. Or someone else refuses to cooperate with God’s will and your life is affected. But don’t EVER think that God is oblivious or insensitive to our pain! I believe that we serve a God that still mourns with His children in times of pain and longs to comfort us and pull us close until the storm passes!
Psalm 34: 18 - 19, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Jesus brings comfort and healing to those who sit at His feet in their time of need. I’m just wondering if there is someone here today who is reeling from a loss and tired of trying to manage life in your own strength alone. Jesus says in Matthew 11: 28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I’m just wondering if there’s someone today who is broken-hearted and wounded by another. Psalm 147: 3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Come and sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him put the pieces of your life back together. Let Him guide you down the paths of peace and hope
At His feet enjoying His presence
Luke 10: 38 – 42, “Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”