Thursday, April 24, 2014

Grace


The Pace of Grace

Have you ever been told to, "Pace yourself"?  Why do we have to pace ourselves? Because if we don't, we get overexerted, we can't go on, we get STRESSED. We move too fast, we get ahead of ourselves...and something I am learning...we can also get ahead of God...

I have recently started recognizing signs in my body when I am moving at an unnecessary "hurried" pace... I get anxious, my stomach hurts, my heart races, I also start to physically move faster, I  rush around...

I can also recognize the signs by paying attention to how I react with people that I love- I snap at them, I rush them, I push them to keep up with me and what I want, I don't really LISTEN to them, I jump to conclusions and you can guess how that ends? In a lot of YUCK, especially for my precious family who deserves so much better...

I also recognize that I am moving at a hurried pace when there are signs of carelessness all around me, there is a lack of care for important details because I am hurrying to get things done and get to the NEXT thing...

So, this is bugging me and God and I have been talking about this...

I know I need to make a change...and God gave me an amazing TRUTH that He has been teaching me ever since and that TRUTH is that He has called me to live at the PACE of GRACE...

I can relate to the following-

"I love the biblical metaphor of walking with God. Yet I find myself running a lot. The danger is that I run ahead, not letting God set the pace. Sometimes the tempo can be fast, sometimes slow, demanding much patience. The important thing is that I am learning to move with God."
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-pace-of-grace-35171/#LCb7JBBadrOb18wQ.99

Let's start with some simple definitions...

What is pace? Pace is the rate of activity, progress, growth, performance, the tempo...

So... how would I describe the tempo of my life? Honestly, it is all over the place! Why? ...

read below...

Susan Muto states..."...there is always the danger of wanting to 'push ourselves beyond the pace of grace.'"
Read more at:http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-pace-of-grace-35171/#LCb7JBBadrOb18wQ.99

Because I push myself BEYOND the PACE of GRACE...

THAT is why I feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious...

But listen to this...THIS is what happens when we move at the PACE of GRACE-

"But when I move at the pace of grace, the gifts of God that are given in the moment determine both what I am to do and the speed of doing them."
Read more at: http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-pace-of-grace 35171/#phgR6COZ1AWOCVr0.99
 
I LOVE this.

Our lives have a tempo, they have a rhythm, and that rhythm should be determined by the One who created us and it should be based on TRUTH, God's TRUTH.

I am learning that the pace of my life needs to be directed by the TRUTH of GRACE.

The simplest definition of grace I can find is "unmerited favor"...

There are many things that have set the pace for my life, how about you?

Overall for me, my pace is set by the things I have learned, by my life experiences...

Such as- I must achieve things, I need to get things done... I need to get ahead to avoid discomfort (which is so ironic because the discomfort often comes when I try to GET AHEAD of God)...

If you were to ask me to be specific about what has set the pace for the majority of my life, I guess I would say- having "fun", pleasing others, having comfort, achieving goals; mostly school and work related, trying to keep my emotions under control; specifically my dealings with depression and anxiety, and trying to live my life as a Christian as best as I can...etc...And these can all be GOOD things...

But to say that GRACE has set the PACE for my life, well, I definitely cannot say that it has. 

To say that resting in the truth of God's unmerited favor has SET THE PACE for my life? No way.

One thing is for SURE, God never intended for us to live at a hurried pace, a pace that was driven by anxiety, by fear, insecurity, by the need to control...to name a few.

Our pace is driven by something...so... may I suggest that our pace should be driven by...GRACE?

What is the PACE of GRACE?

So this is my simple definition...The PACE of GRACE is when in our hearts, in our minds, and in our souls, we are SETTLED in the perfect grace of God.

I love words. And a word that I LOVE is SETTLED, my definition of settled? When I am settled, I feel at peace with God, with myself and with my world.

Letting GRACE set the PACE will help me to feel SETTLED no matter what is happening to me.

So, my commitment now, especially when I start to feel the anxiety, the pressure, the nervousness creep in, I will remind myself that the pace of my life must be set by the truth of GRACE.

When I do this, I will slow down; mentally and even physically if I need to, I will take deep breaths and I will remember what God's word says:

2 Corinthians 12:10:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you..."

Sufficient- let me place the definition of this word into what God says in His Word,

"My grace is sufficient (adequate for the purpose, enough to meet a need, plentiful, and satisfactory)- for you..."

and I will also remember that:

2 Corinthians 9:8:

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."


Again, another good word-abound-again, let me place the definition of this word into what God says in His Word,


"And God is able to make all grace abound (to occur or exist in great quantities, to flourish, to thrive, to be rich or well supplied, to be filled, to be plentiful, to overflow, and to run over...) towards you..."


And guess what? We don't have to DO anything to receive this grace, remember, it is unmerited? But, we DO have to accept it, open our arms and embrace it and let it move us at His pace...His PACE of GRACE.


I have learned that when I move at the PACE of GRACE I gain four important things-

1. Peace: I am saved by grace, I am good, I am taken care of, I am right with God, guaranteed Heaven and loved beyond measure, God is in control.

2. Perspective: Simple- God is BIG, I am SMALL, and HE HAS GOT ME IN HIS HANDS. 

3. Purpose: To LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE.

4. Patience: For MYSELF, for OTHERS, and with GOD as sometimes the best thing I can do is NOTHING, to wait, to be STILL.

Last thing...Walking at the Pace of Grace is not some abstract concept, but about walking with a real person, Jesus, He IS GRACE, he is the embodiment of GRACE and when we walk with him, we find REST... read below...

 "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." Mt 11: 28 – 30 MSG

Free and light living? I’ll take that over my hurried pace, ANYDAY!

Liz

 

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