"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart;
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Such a tremendous promise! And, such a powerful truth! Just look at what this verse is saying.
Come to Him if you are tired and burdened down. Come, and He will give you rest.
But what do we do? We forge on. We keep our to-do list revolving and go to bed exhausted. Our yoke of self-management is heavy and wearing us down, yet we can't seem to schedule in time to come before the Lord.
Take my yoke, He says. Learn of me. I'm not like you.
And, He isn't! Yet we don't seem to want His yoke because that would mean letting go of our plans. We avoid learning of Him because He is so opposite to our experience. Meekness and lowliness are not the call of the day. It takes fortitude, fighting, demanding, and all sorts of prideful emotions to live in our world. How would we ever survive if we were meek and lowly? So we press on feeling heavy and burnt out.
Rest for your soul? Jesus really says He can give us that?
Yes, He does. But it doesn't come when the to-do list is complete or when we run off for a vacation. Instead, it comes in the heat of the day when we realize what this verse is telling us.
Come in the middle of your exhaustion. Come when the battle is hottest. Come when you recognize it is all too much. Stop! You are creating yokes the Lord never intended you to carry.
Come back to your center. Back to His sufficiency for His yoke is easy, and His burden is not heavy.
He brings us to the light; we struggle in darkness. He gives purpose; we wander in confusion. He gives confidence; we hesitate in doubt.
This verse isn't just about exchanging weight for lightness. It is about learning a different way to do life. Here's what I've found. When the road gets heavy, when frustration is my bed-fellow, or I catch myself intently scheming and planning, I know I am carrying the wrong yoke.
The yoke of Jesus looks like this - it is God-sufficient instead of self-sufficient. Is God-reliant instead of self-reliant. It is praiseworthy instead of burdensome. It is hopeful instead of disheartening.
All I have to do is look at the outcome of my efforts, and I can see if that yoke is mine or His.
So where are you today? Is that yoke around your neck one you placed there yourself? Are you unwilling to let it go? Why not lay it aside and pick up a gentler one?
Dane Ortlund wrote, "What helium does to a balloon, Jesus' yoke does to his followers." Let Him lighten your load.