I’m learning a new rhythm. It’s unforced. It’s full of grace. It’s one that is light and free as Jesus says.
Reading Genesis 6:5-8 this morning and I can’t help but feel grieved and grateful. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on Earth and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, I will wipe from the face of the Earth the human race I have created… for I regret that I have made them.
Looking back over the course of my life as a believer and a chronic producer I realize that I have not been living in the promised that Jesus brings us, but instead under the wrath and judgement of the Old Testament. Sure I accepted Jesus. I wonder if I accepted the same way we would say tolerated. Now, let me be clear, I believe in Jesus! But I hadn’t allowed him to heal the places inside me that desperately needed to be healed. Shame, sorrow, fear of being figured out haunted me.
I became obese on work and producing and feeding my own sick obsession to be accepted and yet I couldn’t see if I had truly moved from belief in Jesus to relationship with Jesus true healing would be taking place instead of what I did, which was to hold onto my own untruth that lurked in the dark shadows- I am and will always be at a disadvantage. (I’ll unpack this in another blog). I believed I was less than in the eyes of the Lord, that I shamed him, and that everyone else pitied me. And I would spend all my might trying to prove the whole damn world wrong.
Until I couldn’t get out of bed.
That changes things, you know. It’s as if all my untruths had pooled inside, eating away at who I was created to be and they had made me so physically sick that I became paralyzed. I didn’t know what was happening to me. Neither did anyone else. If I wasn’t able to produce, who was I? I was becoming septic. It felt like I was being swallowed whole by my untruth that if I did enough, proved enough, was good enough, I would finally BE ENOUGH. But this isn’t the way it works with Jesus. This is not Matthew 11:28-30 living.
The Jesus of Matthew 11 is not the result of a spiteful or punitive God as we tend to see him, but rather it’s the result of a broken hearted God who grieved his Creation and found a way once again to be close with us through the ultimate sacrifice- his Son.
And isn’t it interesting that in Genesis after Adam and Eve sin in the garden and both sentenced to their respective hard labor until they return to dust, that Jesus provides an alternative, an escape from this kind of living. This is the heart of Jesus! We don’t have to live the ways our untruths and the world have shaped us to be- we actually get to live freely and lightly!
These verses have become my anthem. I’ve never had a life verse. My kids don’t have life verses. I don’t do the one word each year (mostly because I’ve never taken time to think on these things, because I always preferred to produce). As soon as I read these words, my life was turned upside down. They began taking root deep within my soul and a new resolve to live a new normal began to form within me.
I read these words in FL at Blessing Ranch. Alan and I drove to this beautiful park set in nature with walking trails for miles. We walked a good long ways and found an old wooden table set out in the middle of nowhere. A swampy pond was all the lay before us. And this pond was beautiful. The most magnificent pinkish purple flowers dotted the top of the pond. Birds walked on top of the water looking for food below. But underneath the beautiful flowers lurked darkness, alligators, looking for their prey. The sign was clear- do not feed the alligators. In Genesis it says sin is crouching at your door. We mustn’t feed it or let it in. But above this where the sun (and SON) are shining is where we are called to live in this new way of living.
Out of this scripture came some of the most soulful healing for me. To live freely and lightly, walking and learning from Jesus. This friends, is the only way to recover our lives out of the murky waters.
Matthew 11:28-30 (msg. translation)
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.