Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Life can be very difficult.

There are many things that can be done to aid with reducing the tension during difficult moments.  Many of them are helpful and should be implemented, but there is only one thing that will really help bring peace.

Take it to God.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is recorded in Matthew 11:28-30 and reads:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

It is a passage to which I often return when life is getting difficult.  It helps to reorient myself to Jesus in order to find this God-given rest.  I’ve had this passage memorized for years now and, although I have enjoyed Eugene Peterson’s translation The Message, I hadn’t checked out his portrayal.  There is a phrase he uses that has captured my attention.  It is a fascinating idea that deserves contemplation.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”

Recently, I was anxious about a meeting taking place that I was involved in.  Stress disrupted my ability to properly perform work to my capabilities.  My relationship with my family was also being negatively affected.  I began to passionately ask God for guidance and direction.  I specifically asked if it was part of His plan for this meeting to work out positively for me and my family.  Once I added the extra phrase “but only according to Your will” as Jesus did in the garden I almost immediately received confirmation about this meeting!  This was a moment when God was teaching me how to identify the unforced rhythm of grace.

There is another situation where I was experiencing distance in a close relationship and I didn’t take it to God, thereby letting the distance linger too long.  I gave myself over to something less than myself and my other relationships also bore the burden of this weakness. God is always offering grace and mercy.  This was a teachable moment for me.  God gave clarity and helped me walk this out in my life.  This allowed me become more of the person He created me to be.  This is another example of when God offered to me the unforced rhythm of grace.

We are created to be relational beings – not only with each other but also with God.  Actually, especially with God.  Our relationship with God should define all other relationships, even our relationship with our family.  During those inevitable phases of difficulty we will experience it is great to have a support system that includes family and friends that will speak life into the situation.  But they cannot provide peace or comfort us in our hearts.  Only God can do this.  And He wants to and He will.  However, we have to make the decision to go to Him.

So go with Him we will.  We shall learn from His easy way of relating with us as we receive further insight into how God’s grace operates in our life.

Have a great week.
Jake

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