"What a waste!" Assessing his years of missionary service, these words spoken by others to a friend of mine caused great discouragement. Seeking truth, we read together the story of Mary pouring perfume on the head of Jesus at a dinner in Simon the leper’s house (Mark 14:1-11). Some present at this dinner indignantly voiced a similar conclusion, "Why this waste?"
Looking for answers to my friend’s discouragement, we made several observations from this story.
- Jesus commended her. "She [Mary] did what she could." I, at times, look at a situation thinking, "If only I had more money, more talent, or more influence, I could do great things for God." However, God has called me to do what I can with what I have.
- Nothing brought to the feet of Jesus in love, worship and obedience is a waste. In fact, at the feet of Jesus even the small and insignificant finds value and meaning. Through the eyes of some people, Mary’s gesture was a waste. But through the eyes of Jesus, it was a "beautiful thing done to me [Jesus]" (Mark 14:6 NIV).
- Whenever we leave the feet of Jesus we carry the fragrance of Christ with us. Mary certainly carried the aroma of Jesus when she left. Do I carry His fragrance evidencing time at His feet?
The comments of others have great power to discourage, but considering Mary’s actions helped my friend remember that nothing done out of love for Jesus is a waste. Join me this week in modeling the wonderful example of Mary at the feet of Jesus