The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

I tend to go to bed pretty early, well at least compared to some. Generally you will find me snuggled happily in my sheets by 9:30. I am most definitely not a night owl. I used to be, staying up ’til all hours of the night and sleeping until 10. These days I’m usually up by 6 with no need for an alarm. Yesterday morning when I woke up I was still tired. I had had my usual amount of sleep but it was hard to pull myself out of bed. I walked through the day feeling like there was sand in my eyes and motivation never even bothered to show up. I mentioned something to my husband about being so tired and not knowing why and he responded that uncertainty wears you down.

It’s so true. I know I’m not supposed to worry about anything and I’m to be anxious about nothing, all that good stuff. I know all those things yet my heart is still burdened with reality. I guess there’s always something going on, right? No one lives a carefree existence, at least not for long. We all carry around the scars of the past, the memory of experiences good and bad, and unfulfilled dreams for the future. Lots of baggage and some days it just gets mentally, emotionally and even physically tiring carrying it.

I know we’re supposed to let Jesus carry it. I wish it were that easy, like a young girl handing over her stack of books to a willing boy to carry. So how do we do it? How do we release our ninja grip and take Jesus’ offer to carry our burdens for us? How do we step into the rhythm of grace? I believe the first step in this dance is that we have to be willing. Sometimes our burdens become like a security blanket that we’re terrified to let go of. We have to understand that the reward of letting go is greater than the comfort of holding on.

Second, we have to understand that it’s not a quick fix. It’s not like we can just say – ‘Hey Jesus, this is all yours, I’m out.’ and be done with it. It takes work, repetitive work. We have to retrain our thought processes to evaluate what we’re meditating on and then deal with those things that are not of God. We must confront the fears, regrets and brokenness with the word of God, there really is no other way. There are lots of self-help books out there that’ll tell you how to be positive but we need more than that. We need God’s voice to speak to our hearts, to eradicate the lies, drive out the fear and heal the pain.

Last, we need to allow ourselves some grace. On days when we’ve dragged our baggage around and we end up exhausted it does no good to beat ourselves up over it. Give yourself a day of rest served up with a big helping of grace. When we get into that rhythm of grace, we flow in His spirit and we hear His voice. He gently reminds us when we’ve unknowingly become hunched over by the weight of our burden baggage and He helps us stand tall again. Then, piece by piece we begin to drop our baggage at His feet and slowly but surely we stop picking it up.

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