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.Matt. 11:29
A while back, Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California, put out a podcast on which he advised his listeners to yoke themselves to Jesus.
The point of the podcast was simple—to explain what it means to yoke ourselves (it’s not what you think) and to encourage us to do so on a daily basis.
In a nutshell, to yoke ourselves to Jesus means to attach ourselves to him to lighten our load through this life.
Just as James tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2), we can be assured that we will have challenges and struggles in this life.
So, what better way to get through life than by partnering with Jesus?
These words have the power to bring comfort, healing, and peace to even the most troubled soul, of which I am often one.
The reason is because of what a yoke does. Rather than strapping us with more burden— what many people believe—a yoke is designed to lighten the load. Back in biblical times, a farmer would yoke two oxen together to make it easier for each ox to pull the load behind them.
The yoke evenly distributed the burden of the load between the two oxen, making their work easier and even allowing them to get more work done. The yoke was actually a welcome relief for the animals, and they were able to accomplish more than each one could on its own.
This is how we should look at the command found in Matthew 11:29. The yoke is not meant to put more burden on us, but rather to lighten the load we’re already carrying.
Jesus is telling us to partner with him, leaning on him daily for renewed strength to make it through the challenges of our often hectic and demanding days.
No one on this earth is without some sort of burden. However, by allowing Jesus to share our burdens, these burdens will seem lighter and easier to handle.
After all, we’re also told in 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
God loves us and wants the best for each of his children.
It took me a long time to really understand and accept this truth for myself, but I think I’m finally able to do that, at least to some degree. I still have room to grow in this area, but it’s such a welcome relief knowing that God loves me and wants to make my journey through life easier by yoking me with Jesus.
And He wants to do the same for you, friend.