Weekly Manna for Memory
“‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.'”
Reread our Weekly Manna for Memory. (Or say it from memory if you’ve been memorizing it this week!) Jesus says we will find rest for our souls when we exchange our burdens for His easy yoke with a light burden.
But what is a yoke? Isn’t that a burden in and of itself?
A yoke is a heavy wooden type of harness that is placed over the shoulders of oxen in order to attach them to each other and to the piece of machinery they are to pull. Yes, it is definitely a burden in and of itself, but on the strong shoulders of oxen, it is only a means by which to pull the much heavier—and more important—burden behind and to work as a team. The oxen would hardly notice the yoke in and of itself, but because of the yoke, the oxen can more easily carry out their toil for their master, whatever it might be.
So what if the yoke on the oxen was just there for no reason? What if a pair of oxen were yoked together with a heavy yoke, day in and day out, but there was no purpose to it and no machinery behind it? Would the yoke then be “easy” or the burden “light”? Definitely not! They would not be able to eat or rest properly and their strength and energy would be wasted without the attachment of equipment to the yoke.
In the same way, we often carry our own burdens of sin or weariness or the excessive demands of others in our lives or oppression or persecution. It is a burden without purpose and it is cumbersome at best, debilitating at the worse.
But Jesus has offered us His yoke instead. My NLT Life Application Study Bible suggests that the yoke offered by Jesus, that relationship of learning from Him and bringing our burdens to Him, changes “meaningless, wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose” (p. 1429). It is not an absence of labour, but rather a purpose for it. We are invited to toil with Jesus as a team. And it is by resting in Him that we find love, healing and peace for our souls.
That is why His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Let’s stop taking burdens upon ourselves that we were never meant to carry. It might make us feel like we are doing something useful, but how much more useful if we can be yoked up with Jesus and purposefully pull what He means for us to pull, only labour on that which He has ordained for us to labour. The rest can be left with Him. He is the only one who can bring any healing or change to those other burdens anyway.
Let’s gladly exchange our burdens for His yoke.
Dear Jesus, thank you so much for inviting me to take Your yoke upon myself. Thank You for giving my toils here on earth a purpose. There are so many days I am just weary or feeling like I lack direction or value. Jesus, you promise a yoke that is easy, but it’s still a yoke. I want that yoke, Jesus. I want to work for You. I want to work alongside You. I want to live a life of purpose. I bring to you the burdens that I have insisted on carrying. Please forgive me for thinking I could do it alone. Forgive me for not coming to you with them in the first place. I want to exchange them for your easy yoke and light burden. Thank You, Jesus, for inviting me to join You in Your purposes in exchange for Your healing, love and peace in my life. Amen.
Meal of Manna
As we conclude this devotional series, if you have not yet memorized Matthew 11:28-30, I urge you to do so. God is a loving and merciful God. As moms, we tend to not only carry our own burdens, but also those of the ones we love.
And we become weary.
Dear moms…bring your burdens to God in exchange for his easy yoke and light burden. We have already spent some time this week journaling about specific burdens we are carrying right now. Go back in your journal and commit them to Jesus again. Take some time to consider how you can actually let go of each one. That means giving up your control so that you can join Jesus under His yoke and follow His lead, only pulling what He intends for you to pull, and doing it alongside Him every step of the way.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
It is so difficult to give up that control, isn’t it? Especially as a mom, juggling so much. Sometimes our burdens begin to define us and we begin to find our value in them. But Jesus has so much more for us if we would but give our burdens up to Him and instead join Him under His yoke. Let Him lead.
Take-Away for Today
I have attached a link for an old hymn. Some of you may be into hymns, some not. The link has both the lyrics and the tune that can be played. If you’re not really into hymns, I’d encourage you to just to just go to the link and consider the lyrics.
The hymn is “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”. I just want to leave you this week with the thoughts expressed in this hymn. It is because of who Jesus is that we can totally trust Him with our burdens and find rest in Him.