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 (The Message)
I really love this translation of Matthew 11. It so beautifully captures what it is to follow God. I was teaching a retreat last week on journaling and used this verse to show what our vision of life with God should be. For me, it was a sweet and timely reminder. I find myself in a continued season of waiting. My response to waiting usually involves my working really hard to get out of said season. However, I can’t make God do something he isn’t doing – no matter how hard I try. And trust me, I try. The most accurate metaphor for this is akin to hitting my head against a wall. Repeatedly. Usually I have no idea that I am stepping into fretful ways until I stop and realize I am up to my knees in the mud of religion. In those moments, I am grateful for the loving reminder found in this verse. Life with God isn’t about working really hard and making things happen. No, the deeper truth is that life with God is an invitation into his way of life, his “unforced rhythms of grace.” In true biblical fashion, this is both the easiest and hardest thing to do. All we need to is release into God’s arms. Yet, disbelief and fear keep us in circles, trying to figure out our lives on our own.
So, I find myself again, choosing to trust God and entering once more into this strange dance of grace.
Take a moment today to slowly read through this passage a few times. Pay attention to what word or phrase stands out to you. As you finish your time, make this word or phrase your prayer.