GRACE CHANGE: Enjoying the Challenge of Transformation
How Jesus came back to life matters almost as much as the fact that he did.
When Jesus came back to life, he took his time to lovingly greet Mary, casually walk with two persons who thought he was a stranger on the Emmaus Road, gracefully address Thomas's doubts, and gently encourage and reassure Peter. There is excitement in his return, but no hurry or strain. His resurrection is dripping with grace as much as it is with glorious new possibility.
The patient grace with which Jesus lived his transformation is a model for how we may live ours. In a culture characterized by doing as much as we can as fast as we can, to the point of stressing out ourselves and those around us, how soul-easing it is to know that personal transformation can have as much patience and grace in it as a challenge. Change filled with grace is in the spirit of the words attributed to Jesus in Matthew 11:28-29:
Come to me, all you that are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest in your souls.
Paul reflects this notion of change at the pace of grace when he encourages us in Romans 6:4 not to sprint or strive in the newness of life, but to "walk in the newness of life.” As we walk in the newness of life, we are more likely to stick to our transformation, to be less demanding and judgmental of ourselves and others, and to savor and enjoy the change process as much as the change result.
If we are willing, God is willing to transform us at the pace of grace.
Prayer: God, As I suspect leaves and flowers enjoy their budding before full bloom, inspire me to more fully notice, embrace, and enjoy Your unrushed sacred grace change in me. Amen.