The Rhythm of Grace: Why Rest is Essential to God


We hear this question all the time—especially as women: “How do you balance everything?”

I don’t like this question, because it assumes we have to do it all: work, children, home—the whole package. What does God’s Word say, however? What wisdom does He have to share about work, exhaustion, rest, and grace?

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) shares Jesus’ words on the subject: “‘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.’”

There is rest for the weary. We don’t have to do it all. We were meant to live empowered lives, not exhausted lives. So I want to examine 3 elements in this essential rhythm of grace that we can start implementing today:

1. Acknowledgment

Who is giving the orders in your life? Who are you taking direction from? When you go to the doctor’s office, you can either go into triage—where they do a basic assessment of your condition, sometimes in order to ensure that your vitals are steady—or you can see a specialist. One is a state of emergency; the other is a state of intricate, specialized, personalized care. Which state would you rather live in?

If God’s personalized grace is so readily available, why don’t we take Him up on it? We need to start by acknowledging how we feel, and that our own triage methods aren’t working. We need a new leader.

Luke 9 holds this message from Jesus in the Message Translation: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.”

Isn’t that amazing? We are actually wired to be dependent on God; we go against that wiring hen we try to be completely independent of Him. So acknowledge where you are, and the need you have for His grace.

2. Alignment

When things are in perfect alignment, they flow. When they’re not, there are hiccups and problems. Recovery for our souls is found in God’s presence. We stop putting ourselves last when we put Him first. The right priorities precede the right pace; so let’s prioritize our needs. Your spirit wants God—it’s simply a matter of disciplining your body and soul to wait on Him. Our desperation for Him, our alignment with Him, should be a result of who He is, not a result of our life constantly being in shambles. Let’s get re-aligned!

3. Arrangement

Though we may think depending on God’s grace is limiting, it’s actually liberating. There’s an arrangement, a position, we are meant to live in—and there’s an order to it. When we’re in this position, His grace and favor are poured out in our lives.

1 Peter 5:5 (GNT) says, “In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.”

Humility is the most difficult thing you will put on but the most attractive thing you will ever wear. The purpose of it, as we see above, is to serve one another. When we’re humble before God, we realize that it’s not “I can do all things through me,” but rather, “I can do all things through Christ.” Let’s be honest: we make very bad Jesuses, don’t we? But the arrangement of our hearts under His lordship is powerful.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

Here’s the bottom line: we need to stop trying to earn what was meant to be added to our lives. When we surrender to the unforced rhythms of grace that Jesus wants to show us, we’ll begin to look at life with expectancy, not exhaustion. His rhythm is always there; we just have to grow in our ability to discern it and respond to it. So…are you willing to slow down and discover the unforced rhythms of grace with your Savior today?