Last night was one of those horrible, no good, very bad nights. In the middle of it all, I realized, I need God for more than just relief from physical pain.  I need his grace, His unforced rhythms of grace.

I had what should have been a very easy surgical procedure done.  Really it was easy.  But there was pain involved. My doctor encouraged me to take the pain meds every four hours so the pain wouldn’t get ahead of me.  He said I probably wouldn’t need them today.

However, I don’t tolerate pain meds well.  I know that and my doctor knows that. He just thought I would be able to handle this one.  They had given me one pain med in the hospital and it helped.  So I took another in four hours and another in four hours after that. The final one I took at 2 am.

That’s when the fun began.  I felt like I was in a freezer. I was shaking all over. I have never been so cold. I couldn’t get enough blankets. My kind husband was getting more blankets or whatever I said I needed.

In midst of it all, I remember praying for God’s grace and then, I went to sleep. But when I woke up I felt like I was in an oven. I wanted the freezer back.

I wanted to get up but I was too dizzy and weak. My legs felt like jello. I began praying again even more in earnest because not being able to walk is kind of scary.  Again, by God’s grace, I slept.

I called my doctor this morning and he gave me antibiotics to ward off a secondary infection.  I’m doing much better.

This minor bout with difficulty reminded me of all the people who endure pain every day because of an injury or accident.  Management of chronic physical pain is not easy but modern medicine and a prayer can help.

Management of chronic emotional pain, though, is not so easy.  Failed marriages and relationships, abuse, anger, neglect, hurts that just won’t go away.

Last night, I prayed constantly, “God make me warm.  Then, God make me cold.”  My body couldn’t make up it’s mind.

We are like that with our emotions, too.  “God, I don’t want that person in my life. God, make that person love me.”  We think we know in the moment what would be best for us.  But really we don’t.

God does, though, if we just give it to him.  Last night I said, “God you know what I need.  I trust you. Your grace is sufficient for me whatever portion you decide to give me. And please, help me sleep.”

My body was still cold, but my spirit became warm.  I realized I was being held by an almighty God who spoke comfort to me.  His words were simple, “I love you.  I will take care of you no matter what happens Remember every day I am pouring out my grace, my unmerited favor on you.  You can’t earn it. You can just accept it.” And, then, I slept.

It’s easier sometimes to give our physical problems to God than our emotional needs. It’s easy to numb our pain with things that bring an immediate gratification.

God has a different plan.  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out?  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.”  (Matt. 11:28-30 The Message).

That is what I want. That is what I need, the unforced rhythms of grace.  I need to live freely and lightly.  I need God to take over every part of my life. Nothing held back.  Nothing that I think I will do on my own.

Unforced rhythms of grace. No one sings it better than BeBe and CeCe.  Enjoy and remember His grace is right there available whenever you call on Him.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.