Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Yoke

In Matthew 11 the Savior makes an invitation to us:

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.
I've heard this set of verses explained I don't know how many times, and all of those teachers said about the same thing: If you cast your burdens on the wagon the Lord is pulling and join Him at the yoke then you will have an easier load, as He is much stronger.
As I read those words a similar yet different interpretation comes to me, and I thought I should share it.
You see, perhaps I'm an aberration, but I've never found the yoke of living the gospel to be the heavy thing in my life. People talk about the struggle to remain worthy, to keep keeping the commandments through temptations, and my heart aches for them (not because I am any better than them, because I have my own short comings and sins) because for me it is different.
You see, when I have a load that is heavy, it's usually because it's a load that I've taken on myself. It's something that I have chosen to carry in spite of warnings or the direction of heaven. When I read those words, "Come unto me... and I will give you rest," I read them literally. Rest.
It doesn't say in those lines, "I will help you pull your load." Does it? Look again, it doesn't. It says we need to take HIS yoke, for HIS burden is light.
Think about it, what are the things that you absolutely must carry in life?

Are they your work? Or are they really God's work through you? Is your family not God's family? Does He not care for them more than you? Are your friends not God's own children also? Your work, is it how you earn a living, or is it something God has given you, a vehicle with which to do good for His children? Your money, is it yours? Your health, is that yours or is it the Lord's work that you help him in through obedience? Canst thou make one hair of thy head black or white?
You see, it is not your yoke, it is not your burden, it is the Lord's.
The keys to applying this is in those verses too:
Come unto Him
Learn of Him
Become like Him, meek and lowly in heart
Our Lord talks over and over about losing your life, for His sake. Perhaps He was speaking literally to his Apostles, who would eventually die for the name of Christ. Perhaps He was speaking to you and me. What life are you holding onto? What things are you not giving up? What hurt or anger are you poisoning yourself with?
Why do you refuse to forsake the yoke of bondage?
His yoke is easy, His burden is light. If you will forsake all else to take it up with Him you will find how EASY it really is, you will find how RESTFUL it really is. Come, learn, become like Him, take upon you this yoke, you won't regret it.

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