Thursday, September 20, 2007

VOTD: Rhythms of Grace

August 17, 2006
VOTD: Rhythms of Grace

“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.” Matthew 11:28-29

Recently, while reading, “Sisterchicks Do the Hula” by Robin Jones Gunn, God brought this verse to my attention. The phrase, “Rhythms of Grace” struck a cord deep within and has been mulling around in my head for a week now. Ever know what you mean, but not know how to express it? That’s how I feel now. I know there’s this amazing concept, but I just can’t seem to pry it from within myself.

I think what God is trying to tell us here, is that, walking with Him is often easier than we make it out to be. You know how you feel when you go on a retreat with church or on a mission trip? For the first few hours, it’s like you’re in detox from the world. You find it hard to put down your cell phone… ‘Was that a text message I just received?’ You wonder how you’ll ever survive without MySpace… how quickly we’re addicted! And then, all the sudden, you just don’t care anymore. It’s as if you realize it’s OK for the world to go on and not to know anything about it. I don’t know if anyone can sympathize with me about this or not?

Once you remember the real reason you’re there, “the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace”. The everyday burdens just fall off… there’s no stress… no need to be anxious… it’s just you and Jesus. He likes that, you know? When we come to a point where we gain that Heavenly perspective. If only, we could maintain that. You know, it’s like looking at one of those Magic Eye puzzles. Remember those? My mom gave me one to try the other day. At first glance, it looks like nothing. But once you stare closely and cross your eyes, the next thing you know, a 3-D image appears! (Mine was a cross.)

How much is that like our relationship with Jesus? (Think through my analogy for a second.) It’s not that Jesus is hidden from us. Far from the truth, He’s everywhere. But until we blur out the world and focus only on Him, we won’t see Him clearly. As though, new parts of his character just *pop* out to us, like the image in the picture. Oh sure, He teaches us new things everyday, but when you’re in that state of hyper-focus, how much more are you able to learn? I know that to be true in my life.


erin said...

Your quote, "I think what God is trying to tell us here, is that, walking with Him is often easier than we make it out to be." reminded me of a message series we're going through now at my church. It's based on John 15 and is called "Abide." One of the things we've been talking about is that the Christian life is impossible on our own. We can't fix things and get them right. But Christ can. And when we abide in him, and he in us (John 15:5), then things are so much simpler. We just have to focus on Him and remaining or abiding in Him. He'll take care of the "fruit" and everything else.

The Greek word for "abide" here in John 15 can be used in reference to place (to not depart, to be held, to be kept continually) or in reference to time (to continue to be, to last, to endure), or in reference to a state or condition (to remain as one, not become another or different). It's been a real learning experience for me to view my walk with Christ in those terms. Am I abiding, or remaining in him at all times?

Just thought I'd share....

Meredith Quintana said...

Wow, Erin. That was great. I find it interesting that when a season of learning is going on (not that we don't always learn) but when a point is being driven in, it'll come up in many different aspects. Such as the message series your church is going through. Even though I wrote this two years ago, it's still something I struggle with day-to-day.

I was semi journaling at work today for a few minutes and one question came out, that I don't have an answer for. Am I chasing after Christ or merely following Him? Is there a difference? Is one better than the other? Is it a Mary/Servant question? Just thoughts rolling around in my head. Thanks for your comments.