“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 to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
I have been thinking about the dreams and struggles we encounter in our lives. it is easy for us to dream about the things we want and the things we want to happen. Being successful in our jobs, paying off bills, losing weight and getting fit in our lives, even building strong spiritual lives and doing great things for God.
The hard part is dealing with the struggles. Yet the verse (30) says the yoke is “easy” and the burden is “light.” How can that be when life seems so hard at times? It does not take decades of experience to know that life will challenge our faith and endurance from time to time.
If we look at these verses in a different way we are actually limiting our freedom in Christ by not trusting what God has told us to be true. Jesus also says to take his yoke and learn from him. If you look at a yoke it was used for oxen to be tied together in order to plow a field or pull a cart. It is designed for two oxen not just one. in this way when we experience the challenges of life we should share the load with Christ and allow him to give us help, even “rest.”
Jesus also says to learn from him, as a young ox was learning how to plow the framer would pair the newer, younger, less experienced oxen with an more mature oxen. This more mature ox will lead the younger one and show them the way to do the work, sometimes even taking a greater load on themselves. We should look to do the same with God and with the leaders He has placed in our lives.
Our challenge should be to have trust in God as we begin to feel the pressures and struggles of life, placing our burdens on Him, and learning how he can give rest and guide us through life as we partner our lives with him.