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Friday, December 5, 2008


I mentioned in one of my recent blogs that my cousin has put me on a food and exercise plan to lose weight. This was week one. I eat 5 small meals each day and I exercise for at least a ½ hour 5 days per week. I e-mail a summary of what I ate and how I exercised to my cousin each day for accountability, advice, and prayer. My cousin and my husband have been a great help in being so supportive and encouraging to me. So far, it is going much better than I had thought. In fact, through this process, this passage from the Message translation of Matthew 11:27-29 has come to mind a lot:
"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."
This section from the Message is one of the things God used in my husband Kristian to make him a Christian. Kristian always told me how much the "unforced rhythms of grace" spoke to him. I never really understood what this meant. I am starting to see the connection between this concept and sanctification. Yes, Jesus does give us a yoke. Yes, there are disciplines of grace (of grace!) to which He calls us. Yes, being with Jesus requires obedience. These things are not legalisms or white-knuckling. Jesus calls us to joyful submission. Jesus calls us to walk with Him in relationship and to work with Him along side of Him. He calls us to see how He does it. He doesn't beat us over the head. He doesn't leave us alone to figure out. He is patient with us. I just love what I see about God's patient and forebearing character in Psalm 103:
Psalm 103
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits- 3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children- 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
I am experiencing the refreshing of the "unforced rhythms of grace" from Jesus' yoke in this training plan. There is no condemnation in this! God is so good to give me empowering grace and even joy in this journey that I have been dreading. He is teaching me so much about His goodness and His will for my life.
He is even using this struggle to teach me about other areas of my life in which I need to grow. One of the areas is prayer. I realize that there is a disconnect with my heart, theology, and belief (faith) when it comes to praying for help from God in many areas of my life. I have a feeling that prayer will be the subject of an upcoming blog. In the meantime, I would love your prayers about this for me. Praying for all of you too!
Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

More on "This Momentary Marriage" coming soon!


Heather said...

Thanks for sharing that Psalm - so refreshing to my anxieties right now!

I'll be praying for your journey!

Rachel said...

Bina, thanks for sharing. Praying that you feel God's presence through this process.