Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

The last few verses in Matthew chapter 11 have always been a comfort to me. Perhaps because for so long I have felt weary and heavy laden. For much of my adult life, I have felt as though I’ve been laboring under one burden or another – freedom (from doubt, worry, pain, devastation) is not something I have been blessed with. I have dug in to those final verses and clung to them – eager to walk side by side with a God who could ease that burden with a yoke He claimed was easy and light. As often as I’ve read it though, it’s never resonated with me the way it did when Sarah Bessey shared this passage from the Message when she spoke at the IF Gathering this weekend.
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.
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Admittedly, I’m on a Sarah Bessey kick right now. I’ve recently discovered her writing, her work, and her book, Jesus Feminist, is working its way into my heart in an unprecedented way. So much so that I had to write and share with her what my first response was to the first few pages:
Good grief. Page five. I had to stop at page five. It was a few more minutes until the rest of my late-night dinner would be done, and I just thought I'd (finally) crack open the pages of Jesus Feminist and take a quick peek. And I had to stop at page five. Because I was now crying so intensely that my what was left of my eyeliner was burning its way through my lids - causing more tears - and that burning was matched only by the fire I could feel building in my chest. Like when you've been underwater holding your breath for too long and someone reaches down through the shimmering blue to remind you that you're a creature of air not a creature of water and that you need to breathe. And that first explosive inhale that rips through your lungs and reminds you what breathing is all about? What life feels like? What you're supposed to be doing? That's what these first five pages felt like. Bonfire on the beach. I felt it like a reflection deep inside. Aslan is on the move. Holy Lord, I did not see this one coming.
Do you know, she actually wrote back to me?
Dear Rebekah:

Oh, my goodness. This is so beautiful to read. Thank you so much for taking the time to send it to me. It means more to me than you could know to read these words. Bless you, sister. You give me such hope.

Love S.
All of this: a life changing book; an author who is still grounded and invested enough to care enough and connect with an unknown audience; an unveiling of scripture that I have always cherished – now seen in a new light – combine that with the movement in the community that I see around me and you’ll know why I’m suddenly sitting at attention. Alert with my ears straining for the next sound. Because it’s happening.

Change is happening. New life is happening. Commitment is happening. Equipping is happening. Unleashing is happening. And all of this blows in on a breath of fresh air that echoes and shivers with His name: Jesus.

One of the lines from the IF Gathering that stayed with me most was when Sarah prayed: 
May we be the ones who do not despise the day of small things, but instead, find You in beautiful obscurity.
All these good things I longed for before, I these initiatives I joined up in, all the projects and opportunities around me that I yearned to be a part of? I knew intrinsically and emphatically that Jesus was in them, but we didn’t always say it – I didn’t always say it. I didn’t say, “I’m doing this because of Jesus.”

I’m saying it now.

As I write. As I mother. As I give grace to my family. As I strive to be a better wife. As I attempt to be more patient in teaching technology to those who need help. As I connect with my friends in community (in real life and online) in love, truth, and encouragement. As I reach out – anticipating with hands open and ready for what it is that the Lord will have for me to do next to serve and use my gifts – I’m doing it because of Jesus. Because I want to learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I want to recover my life, walk with my Lord and see how He does it. Then I want to do it.

Because of Jesus.

I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!

I'm heading back to Sarah's place today at All Manner of Inspiration for her Sacro Speco linkup. Sarah recently led a discussion about Jesus Feminist at She Loves magazine, so I think she'll like today's quote.

After look at Ann's post from Monday, I'm deciding to jump in to that link up too - talking about the IF Gathering  - sharing with the Multitude on Mondays.


  1. I love it!

    I said something similiar this weekend to my bloggy bestie by text. I told her
    ''I'm done. I'm done with it all. I'm done with religion and doing Christianity for the sake of Christianity. I just want Jesus.That's it. Just Jesus."

  2. This is what I have been trying to shout yet it has seemed to only come out as a whisper. JUST GIVE ME JESUS !!!! We all get to hung up on the rest of it.

  3. Enjoyed your post! I'm so curious about the If:Gathering. Visiting from the writer's group : )

  4. Isn't Sarah AMAZING? (Thanks for linking up this beautiful quote with Sacro Speco - how perfect!) As you probably gathered from my discussion post at SheLoves :) ,I LOVED the book Jesus Feminist. I'm pretty sure I'll read ANY book she pens from now on…You shared so much goodness here -thank you!


Thank you for the kindess of your comment. I pray your patience with the word verification. I've had such troubles with spammers lately. Thank you for grace. I look forward to reading all the comments and responding. I appreciate you!