Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lightened Load

“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.”
Matthew 11:28-30

For some (Holy Spirit) reason I have been dwelling on this verse.  Jesus said, "come to me, all you who are weary and burdened"  Let's look at this for a minute.  How many times have I sat down and said Lord, I can't do this, I need You to take it!  Then without waiting for an answer, I take it back and continue my useless efforts?  What a dummy! The Lord says RIGHT HERE to Come to me when you are weary and burdened!!!  In fact, if He said it in his word, it is an act of OBEDIENCE to do what HE has commanded.  And guess what, IF we are obedient, He has a reward for us!!  "I will give you REST!!!:  Imagine that!  By going to Jesus with the things that are weighing us down, we have earned rest!  Thank you Jesus!!

In the next part He says,  "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."   Do you know what a yoke is?  There are several definitions but according to Merriam Webster:

1 a : a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together b : an arched device formerly laid on the neck of a defeated person c : a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions d : a bar by which the end of the tongue of a wagon or carriage is suspended from the collars of the harness e (1) : a crosspiece on the head of a boat's rudder (2) : an airplane control operating the elevators and ailerons f : a frame from which a bell is hung g : a clamp or similar piece that embraces two parts to hold or unite them in position

I've highlighted two of the definitions that I believe are relevant to what Jesus is telling us.  1 a tells us that it is a wooden bar or frame that allow the oxen to work together.  Hmmm, so if we take Jesus' yoke upon us, that means we are working side by side with Him?  I imagine if they paired a new ox with an old ox, the new one would follow the lead of the older, more experienced ox.  If not, the old, experienced ox would pull on the yoke to make the younger one go the right way.  Now imagine if you are yoked with Jesus, when you start to pull away, he will gently tug on that yoke and put you back on the right path!

Now look at 1 c.  A yoke is a frame fitted to a person's shoulders to carry a load in two equal portions.  Jesus tells us that if we take His yoke upon us, we will find rest for our souls. When my life is balanced, when I have the right focus on Him, with family and then everything else falling behind that, my soul is rested.  When I follow His plan for my life, my soul is at rest.  Hmmm, when I take His yoke upon me and learn from Him, my soul is rested!  Thank you Jesus for teaching me and giving me rest for my weary soul!!

The last part of the passage says, " for my yoke is easy and my burden is light!" Jesus is a gentle teacher, he does not force us because his yoke is easy, he will gently prod us.  His burden is light, he takes all of our weariness and worldly burdens upon himself.  Thank you Jesus for you gentle prodding and Your willingness to bear my loads!!

Thanks for reading!

Love and Blessings,
Margaret