“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly 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, Christian Standard Bible).
Have you ever been deep down-to-the-bone tired? If you live in the 21st Century and keep the pace most of us do, you will probably respond with a resounding “yes.” Physical reasons can make us feel tired, but sometimes it’s just our hectic lifestyle—frequent late nights, too many commitments, or various family obligations. With all our frenzied activity, we don’t take time to rest and refresh.
In the verses above, Jesus offers a remedy for our weariness. But what does it mean to take up His yoke? How do we do that?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines yoke as “a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together.” The imagery here is of being joined or linked together to achieve a common purpose. Without a yoke, the two animals may drift onto different paths—perhaps close, perhaps even in the same direction, but off target.
When we yoke ourselves to the Lord, we are agreeing to allow Him to guide our path. He sets the course, but He also shares the load. Otherwise, we are pulling against the yoke. We are not working with Him and learning from Him. When yoked with Him, we are not carrying the load alone; He shares it with us, and we feel the heaviness lift.
Easy to Wear
A yoke that is easy to wear is one that’s adapted to the recipient. None of us carry the same load in life. We each face our own unique struggles and burdens. Yet, the yoke of Christ fits everyone. He shapes it to us, so it does not chafe or make the burden worse.
Whether we realize it or not, if we are not yoked to Christ, we are still yoked to something. Only a heart search will reveal to us what we have chosen to join with. Can it provide the peace, rest, and strength we need? Not really. Only God can do that for us.
Are you weary? Is your burden heavy? The Lord stands near, ready to help with the load you carry. Accept His yoke. It will fit perfectly.
“He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy” (Isaiah 40:29, New English Translation).
Prayer: Lord, I submit myself to Your yoke, knowing that when I do, I will receive Your strength and Your power. You promised Your yoke would be easy and the burden light when we are yoked together. I commit myself to You and trust You to help me with the stresses of life. You are my strength and my rest.
(Suggested Scriptures for Meditation: Philippians 4: 12-13, II Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 4:16, Psalm 62:1-2, I Chronicles 16:11, Nehemiah 8:10.)