“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
I love the translation of these verses! These verses make my heart leap with excitement and expectation. I know that’s a weird way to feel about verse talking about burnout, exhaustion, and a lost sense of self. I spent months literally crippled by those things, but when I read this translation a part of my broken heart mended. I could barely leave the house let alone get out of bed and God was telling me that in resting with His I would recover my life. WOAH!!!
We all let lies sneak into your heads. That’s the art of a lie, we don’t realize it’s a lie, and therefore we let it in as truth. Sometimes we set up our belief system based on a lie because the lie in some form makes sense and can be justified by scripture. Jesus tells us to feed the hungry, help the widows, tell others about Him, build the church, make disciples, and the list goes on of all the ways we can show His love to the world around us. Just writing that list makes my head spin. It makes my head spin because at one time I believed I had to be doing ALL those things ALL the time. Deep breathe. Not true.
“Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.”
I worked full-time for 15 years to get myself to this place of confusion, twisted expectations, and indescribable exhaustion. Fifteen years of doing what was good and pure and what God had asked of me. Or had He? No. He never asked me to take on ALL of those things! I had laid the “heavy” on. I picked up a burden or two that were not mine to carry. I had lost myself in all of it. I did so much so that instead of thriving and flourishing, I had catapulted myself into a dark hidden cave of despair. And here is Christ inviting me to crawl up in His lap, take a long long nap, and whilst doing so I will recover myself. Whilst resting, He will restore my passions, energy, sense of calm, expectations, reveals the lies, and stand up in the light again.
“Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
Rhythm means to find the groove, learn your groove, learn the grace that God has uniquely given to you. I had studied grace at Bible College. I had taught on grace a hundred times. I knew grace in the big sense; God giving us what we don’t deserve. What I didn’t know what personal grace truly was. I had worked myself out all the rhythms of grace; there was no groove left in me. But God. God sent the Holy Spirit to put salve on wounds, to breathe life and peace back into my dry bones, and to teach my body how to sway to the groove of grace.
I wrote in my journal in November of 2011:
“Queue grace. Grace slowly washes over me. It does it in a quiet elegant way, like you would expect grace to do. Only grace doesn’t really act as one would expect because it does the exact opposite of what we as human understand. Grace gives favor to a dirty peasant girl like me. Grace is kinder to me than I am to myself. Grace sat with me as all those horrible things washed over me. It saw the grayness, anxiety, and depression that were a cloud encasing me and choses to breath renewal over and into me. Grace has not left me to struggle in a ditch, but instead lays next me in the ditch, softly speaking the truth to me that I am about to be surprised by love and that God is bringing me out into a spacious space. Don’t give up hope is what Grace breaths over me. And when I have no hope left, Grace hopes for me.”