Unforced Rhythms – Part 1

The Message Bible reminds us that when we come to Jesus and walk in harmony with Him, He will teach us how to focus on the “unforced rhythms of grace” (Matthew 11:28-30).

What does that mean in our over-stressed world? How can we learn to find those unforced rhythms and revel in the grace they provide?

In a recent blog post, Lucy Ann Moll lists seven ways to add room to breathe. She includes practical suggestions such as; slow down, plan free time and turn off the TV. I would add “Spend time with nature.”

Since God is the creator, it makes sense that we can experience Him when we visit a place where He is active. Last weekend, I made a determined point to look for God in nature and within that search, I found the unforced rhythms of grace.

The lawn and garden stores are filled with flowers and plants in abundance. Making the decision beforehand NOT to buy, I enjoyed browsing among the annuals, perennials and colorful pots. One particular plant caught my attention. It was a young hibiscus, its leaves already clipped at the base and ready to be potted. I know about hibiscus, because I have a plant in my yard, but the color of this one stopped me. I had never before seen this particular variety. I gasped at the beauty of it and so wished I could change my mind and buy it.

A bright yellow center formed the basis of the bloom. That hue gradually traveled through the color wheel through fruity orange and paler red until the tips burst into scarlet. The black stamens almost waved at me with a riotous reminder that only God could have created such beauty. Right there in the middle of the garden center, in front of customers, staff and God Himself – I worshipped.

This particular hibiscus reminded me how God changes our colors throughout life. He creates us with startling potential, helps us travel through our particular journeys and then completes us with an explosion of riotous faith. That unusual hibiscus illustrated that God is present throughout my color wheel and in every growth spurt of my life. He continues to paint me with His patterns of grace until that final explosion when I join Him in glory.

What about you? Do you have a favorite flower or plant that speaks the unforced rhythm of grace?

~ Rebecca Thesman