“My YOKE is EASY and my BURDEN is LIGHT!”
DON'T STOP READING! I know that in our overly busy lives those words of Christ's have become cliche.
Seriously, what comes to your mind when you read them? You may be thinking, "Easy? Nothing in life is easy." Maybe you believe the words of the Bible but you feel that God has given you way too much to handle so you don't have a clue what He expects you to hear when He says that the burden is light.
Many of us are not familiar with what a yoke is so it’s difficult for us to envision what He is saying. A yoke literally is a bar of wood constructed in a way that unites two animals together so that they work side by side in the fields or in drawing loads. A farmer generally binds a more experienced oxen with a younger one. The experienced one pulls the majority of the load while the younger one walks alongside and learns.
With that in mind let’s read the above verse again in the full context of Matthew 11:28-30 because when we are followers of Jesus, we are yoked to Him. :
“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.”
"COME...LEARN..." He says.
The words of one of my Seminary professors have often redirected my thoughts and actions over the past 16 years. He stated that if we come out of a situation or conversation feeling exhausted and frustrated, we need to ask ourselves if it was our agenda that we were pushing rather than going with the Holy Spirit’s agenda. Wow!!
We can choose to run ahead of Him and get exhausted because the yoke is then chafing like crazy. We can choose to lag behind in fear when we’re being nudged by Him to take things in a particular direction that we are maybe a little hesitant to take. OR we can choose to relax and rest because we know that He is pulling the majority of the load and we are learning from Him as we walk beside Him.
As a follower of Jesus this yoke is on you as well. If you've learned to take on more than your share, it will take a little time to retrain your thinking but consistently choosing to slow down when you realize that you've run ahead will eventually show you that this yoke is one that makes the burden light!! May you find increasing rest as you continue to learn to walk beside Him on a daily basis.
If you are not a follower of Jesus, I encourage you to accept His invitation to come to Him…and find rest.