Thursday, February 1, 2018
Learning to Let Jesus Help Lighten My Load
In review of Matthew 11:28-30 it says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (RSV).
Yoke up with Jesus, he will help lighten your load and provide you rest.
What this means to me:
I can (and should) ask Jesus to join me in the load I have. When I come to him with it, he teaches me through his example. Jesus is gentle and lowly in heart. Following his example and yoking up with him provides peace. He makes it easier and helps to lighten the burden.
When I come to him, Jesus will give me rest. He tells me to take up a yoke with him. When I do, he teaches me. I can follow his example, for He is humble and gentle at heart. Doing so will help me find rest for my soul. For the yoke I share with Jesus is easy to bear, and he helps make the burden much lighter.
Jesus helps free up the pressure from burdens only if I let him. The rest he promises is love, healing, and peace with God, not the end of all labor. A relationship with him changes meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose.
Responsibilities I have and take on will weigh me down. Even the effort of staying true to God. Jesus' yoke remains easy compared to the crushing alternative.
Also, It’s important for me to remember that Jesus doesn't offer a life of luxurious ease, the yoke itself is still an oxen's tool for working hard. But it is a shared yoke, with weight falling on bigger shoulders than mine. Someone with more pulling power is up front helping. Suddenly I'm participating in life's responsibilities with a great Partner, and now that frown can turn into a smile, and that gripe into a song.
So when I carry burdens and they are weighing me down, the answer is to do what Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 RSV).
For many years I never understood that verse, because I didn’t know what a yoke was. When Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you,” On the surface it sounds like taking up a yoke would just be something else to deal with. My burden is already heavy enough, I don’t need to take extra weight. However, a yoke is actually a board that has two arches in it that you put over two cattle so they can pull a cart.
The value of a yoke is that it halves the load. Without a yoke, one cow has to pull that entire load by itself. But if you yoke up the cow with another cow, then the two cows pull the load together, and the load is half as heavy.
When Jesus says to take his yoke upon you, he’s not saying he’s going to give me extra problems. Jesus doesn’t have any problems! He’s saying he’s going to share your problems. He’s going to share your load. He’s going to take your stress on himself and bear it with you.
Wow! Jesus uses three verbs in this verse: come, learn, and take. Jesus says, “Come to me. Team up with me. Then, learn how I do it. Take on a lighter load. This is going to reduce my stress. This is going to make it easier for me to navigate.”
When I’m yoked with Christ, I move together with him. I move in the same direction and at the same speed. And I move in the right direction and at the right speed.
Today, with my new role, I do feel a lot of responsibility and load from the pressure. I’m now part of an organization / team that needs some tuning and changes to remedy some problems and processes that are not effectively dealing with the work at hand. I have some underlying culture and communications style’s that also requires shaping. Unfortunately I have been just reacting to issues of the past, in-efficient work habits and only slowly illustrating some changes by example. But unfortunately I’ve been also doing this on my own strength. As I start my second month at my new company today, it’s time for me to yoke up with Jesus, and start leading in a manner that will help bring about the changes that are needed. I pray this morning, “Jesus I am ready to come to, team up and learn from you and your example what I need to do to make a positive change for your people. Amen”
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