[This is continued from last week’s post and written over 75 years ago. We find Bro. Andrew Urshan’s message even more relevant in 2011]
“In these days of rapid change and “feverish ways” we must recognize that there are heart fevers which are as dangerous as body fevers. We find so many with feverish spirits – unhappy, discontented, worried, unsubmissive and rebellious; or they may be in a fever of fear or dread. Are not such maladies worse evils than bodily illnesses?
How can we be Christ’s ambassadors of peace if our own actions proclaim a spirit of storm and unrest? We may still go on with our work, but we cannot do it well, and there will be little of blessing in it – either to ourselves or to those about us. Jesus loved Martha and accepted her service because He knew she loved Him; but He kindly suggested to her that her feverishness was not a beautiful trait and that it detracted from the worth and full acceptableness of the good work she did. He pointed to Mary’s quiet peace as a better way of living and serving.
Anxiety of any kind unfits us in some degree for work. It is only when Christ comes and lays His cool hand upon our heart and cures its fever that we are ready for ministering in the most efficient way.
There is a little story of a certain busy woman’s life which illustrates this lesson. She was the mother of a large family, and being in plain circumstances was required to do all her own house work. Sometimes in the multitude of her tasks and cares she “lost the sweetness of her peace” and, like Martha, became troubled or worried with her much serving. One morning, when she had been unusually hurried, things had gone particularly awry. She had breakfast to prepare for her family, her husband to care for as he hastened away early to his work, her children to make ready for school, and other household duties which so filled the poor woman’s hands that her strength was well-nigh exhausted. And she had not gone through it all that morning in a sweet, peaceful way. She had spoken quick, hasty, petulant words to her husband and children. Her heart had been in a fever of irritation and disquiet all the morning.
When the children were gone, the pressings tasks all finished and the house completely quiet, she crept upstairs to her own room, tired and greatly discouraged. She felt that her morning had been a most unsatisfactory one, and knew that she had sadly failed in her duty, that she had grieved her Master by her want of patience and gentleness, and had hurt her children’s live by her fretfulness and her ill-tempered words. Shutting her door, she took up her Bible and read the story of the healing of the sick woman: “He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and ministered to my family.”
“Ah,” she said. “If I had had that touch before I began my morning’s work the fever would have left me, and I should then have been prepared to minister sweetly and peacefully to my family.”
She had learned that she needed the touch of Christ to make her ready for beautiful and gentle service.