"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 and My burden is light."
~ Matthew 11:28 - 30
1. a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.
Imagine this. You are walking along and someone says, "Try taking a walk in my shoes..."
I have met many people in my life. The roles that they serve are varied. Hardly ever do I look at someone and proclaim, "I want to be like them!"
You might say that this conclusion has come with age, that my own personal vision for myself seems to be framed in, and that I feel like I am where God wants me in my life for the time being. However, it doesn't mean that I don't think about what more God may have for me in my life.
The idea of a wooden yoke is not something that we think of often today, unless you are viewing a frontier parade and you happen to see oxen pulling a wagon. For the writer of Matthew, the wooden yoke was common thing to encounter. It was an image that everyone in that society could identify with. So, when I think about wearing a yoke upon my shoulders, it seems to me to be very cumbersome and difficult.
Life is not easy sometimes. There are all kinds of challenges and loads that we carry. Perhaps we don't identify them with a yoke, but some things that we tend to carry are larger than the largest of yokes, and the payload is definitely heavy.
One of the things that I realize is that when Christ invites us to carry this yoke, it is in tandem. It's meant to be shared, not something that is our responsibility only.
It is as if Christ is saying to us, "I know that life is difficult, but if you will just share things with me, I will make it easier."
That's very challenging at times, especially for those of us who are prone to carry everything alone. Sharing our burdens is not something that we are comfortable with. Christ invites us to share not only our burdens, but our lives as well.
It's as if there is someone standing there, saying, "Let me help."
Sharing the load, or our burdens can provide for all kinds of rest. It is just another way of knowing that God is very real and present, and wanting to help. It's an invitation that is fulfilled by a promise that things will get better. That things will lighten, and real peace can exist.
May we all know this peace by allowing Christ to carry with us, that which weights us down.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.