“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.” Matt 11:28-30 ESV
While exploring Freedom, I ran across this verse and while some may view this verse as encumbering it really is the way to true freedom. I looked up the word yoke. Most if not all of us know what a yoke is. It’s the wooden piece that you put on two animals, typically oxen, who will be plowing a field. When the yoke is put on the animals they are stronger, especially if and when they work together. The yoke keeps the animals in step, it makes them stronger, it keeps them from growing weary because they are not carrying the load by themselves.
I think that what this means is when we put on the “yoke” with Jesus that we begin walking in step with Him, We learn from Him, we can lean into Him for strength when things are tough, and we ask Him to guide our steps. Yes a “yoke” that you would put on the oxen is heavy to pick up. But when you put it on the animal’s shoulders they are not in pain, they would only be in pain if they were working against the yoke. It’s the same in my relationship with Jesus. When I am walking in step WITH Him, when I am spending time in His word, when I am asking for His guidance and His help in any matter then my day to day life is much easier. I am not saying I don’t come upon something that is hard or sad. But I am much quicker to turn it right back over to Jesus when my steps are in sync with Him. If I work against Him is when the hard stuff really comes my way. That’s when the anxiety creeps in, that’s when I am seeing it in my attitude and when things of life just start to wear me down.
Jesus says in this verse “I am gentle and lowly in heart”. This word lowly is translated humble. Jesus’ gentleness and his humility do not come with judgment, only peace and help. He is really not trying to give us a list of dos and don’ts. He is just saying “walk with Him” not against Him. and then we will find the rest that our souls need. Finding the rest that my soul needs in Jesus is what brings my heart freedom! When I am operating with His yoke on me, when I am trying to walk in step with Him, I’m not saying I do everything right or perfect (not by a long shot). There is only one who is perfect. But what I am saying, is that when I operate with His yoke I make more right decisions than wrong ones. I use my time and my resources more wisely, I have more peace in the circumstances that concern me that pass any human understanding. The more I walk WITH His yoke the more I lean into His strength, His compassion, His humility, His guidance and His love. This yoke brings freedom.
Please pray for our service industry today. Small businesses, restaurants, travel industry. You may not be ready to sit in a restaurant yet and that’s ok, but if you can, order curbside and be sure to tip well if you can!