Our God is a God of Rhythm

Our God is a God of Rhythm

Karen and Tom Berry Karen and Tom Berry
9 minute read

Look at the way the waves come onto the shore, retreat back, and then crash onto the sand again. Feel the rhythm within you as your heart beats. Listen to yourself as you breathe in and out.

Our bodies and earthwork within a system of rhythm created by a God of rhythm. Our bodies and souls expect rhythm and thrive when we are in sync with God! This is perhaps most seen when we experience the absence of rhythm. What do we say when we are struggling to settle into a new routine - a new job, a new town, a new school year? “I just haven’t found my rhythm yet.” 

When things feel topsy-turvy, we wonder if the passing of more time will help us find our groove.  A life lived out of rhythm leaves us feeling anxious, stressed, and tense.

The most disruptive event in my life to my own sense of rhythm happens to also be the most life-giving and best addition to my life: becoming a Mom of two. Having my first child three years earlier wasn’t too big of a shock. My husband and I look back on those days and refer to them as “simple living”. For some reason, the transition to having one child to two really threw me off balance. I found myself turning 30, trying to maintain a part-time job, and giving my heart and soul to a toddler and baby. I felt I came up short in every arena. Those years looked like little sleep, many interruptions, a lot of love, and a lot of chaos. I didn’t feel like I could be everything for everyone, but I’m not sure anyone was even asking that of me. It was a self-induced pressure to achieve, succeed, and thrive when nothing looked pretty. 

The Gospels allow us a glimpse into the way Jesus lived his life. He, too, experienced moments of little sleep, many interruptions, and a lot of love. And yet in the middle of days that look like total chaos, the more time I spend reading about his life, the more I see rhythms popping up with regularity in scripture. I started wondering: What if I applied the rhythms Jesus had to my own life? 

John 6 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It’s almost hard to read the actual words in my physical Bible because I have journaled so much in the margins.

The chapter begins, “a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.”  (John 6:2). John is setting up the scene. He is allowing us to envision Jesus and the multitudes of people following and surrounding him. John chapter 6 will go on to unveil miracles and truths about Jesus: feeding the 5,000, walking on water, and declaring himself to be the bread of life. Before we watch in amazement as Jesus’s divinity is on full display, we are given a look into a very important rhythm tucked inside of verse 3. What does Jesus do in the short amount of time between being followed by a crowd and miraculously feeding the crowd? 

“Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.” (John 6:3)

In one quick sentence, we see the three rhythms highlighted in this setting. 

Jesus withdrew from the masses to experience God’s presence, to connect with those closest to him, and to rest.

And so the Lord began to beckon my frazzled self into these same three rhythms.

Pursue Jesus. Connect with people. Rest.

As he leaves a crowd and as he is about to join up with a crowd, Jesus implements what he needs to fuel his body, mind, and spirit. As we think about the way we spend our days, as we think about the way we spend our weeks, are we taking notes from the way Jesus lived his? 

I have spent the past several years trying to make these rhythms a part of my day and week.

Pursue Jesus. 

Jesus captured my heart at a young age, and pursuing him is a practice that grows and deepens with each season of my life. I spent many years trying to squeeze in time with Jesus at various times throughout the day depending on my season: nighttime as a teenager, late morning when I was a young professional, and during nap time when my kids were little. The years of inconsistency finally caught up with me and left me frustrated. I found my hodge-podge system and lack of daily discipline, allowing for days to pass with no life-giving time in God’s word and quiet with him. I felt the Spirit nudging me; why not try doing it the way Jesus did it? Our God is a God of rhythm. Maybe, just maybe, what he created and modeled is worth implementing. “Jesus went up on a mountainside” is just one of countless moments in scripture when Jesus creates space to be with the Father. Another time: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35). With the flip of a switch, God invited me into a morning rhythm to pursue him. No longer was I battling the chaos of a busy day to find time alone with him. Instead, my day begins while it is still dark, in solitude, in prayer, and in God’s life-giving word (with coffee!). I feel humbled and grateful that the rhythm of my whole day is determined by the simplicity of this practice.

Connect with people. 

God created us to live in community as we live life alongside others with vulnerability and authenticity. Something happens when you intentionally log life and time with others. God has established beautiful rhythms in our family to connect with people. All four of us are in a small group. My husband meets regularly with men his age. I meet regularly with women my age. And each of our kids meets regularly with friends their age to talk about life and faith in Jesus. We are showing up in the lives of others to love them, we are sharing our lives with others, and we are growing in God’s word together. We are also connected deeply in our local church. We show up on Sundays to worship God and to connect with the people on campus. Logging time with others matters. Saying yes to our small groups and saying yes to our church community matters. Months together turn into years together, and I find myself in awe of the incredible people I am honored to live life alongside. I wouldn’t be me without them. Our God is a God of rhythm, and before we ever made connectivity with others a priority, Jesus modeled it first. Before Jesus got to work on caring for the crowd, he logged time with his people as “he sat down with his disciples.” And another time: “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed the twelve that they might be with him.” (Mark 3:13-14) 

Jesus’s rhythms of eating, worshiping, working, playing, and resting were done in relationship with others. I deeply believe life is more full when we do the same.


The very first week of all creation ended with the gift of rest. The only way to enjoy the work we are called to do is to rest. Honestly, the fourth rhythm God has called me to is to work for his glory, but I have nothing to give to my job or to the friends and family God has given me if I don’t rest. One of my favorite rest rhythms came for my husband and me years ago. We stopped turning on the TV at night and started talking to each other. No matter what happens during my day, I know at night, I will have the time, space, and loving attention of my husband to just simply talk. It is the most restful moment of my day. I’ll admit, though, that while we did eliminate the TV, God more recently opened our eyes to another glowing object that was distracting our time together. That’s right, those pesky phones. But God, in his goodness and grace, introduced us to the Aro Box. We can fully rest and connect with one another with our phones tucked away in the Aro Box, and our minds and hearts fully engaged with each other. I am not tempted to respond to a text, check social media and email, or look up a random fact on my phone. We are fully engaged, available, and at rest in each other's presence. Our God is a God of rhythm. “Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down.” Long before we started pursuing the rhythm of rest, Jesus invited us into it. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

When my mind feels noisy, my heart unsettled, and my body agitated, looking to scripture to see how Jesus lived brings me peace. “Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.” (John 6:3). Jesus pursued his Heavenly Father. Jesus connected with his closest friends and disciples. Jesus prioritized rest in the midst of his full, busy, and demanding life. Our God is a God of rhythm, and I pray that as you consider the rhythms he’s called us to live, you will find yourself in sync with him. 

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