Friday, September 15, 2006

Yokes and Burdens

One day I heard something that really enlightened me about a scripture that had been unclear to me. "Take my yoke upon you" was the message. At the time I first heard it and for some time after I thought it was a request for me to take more on myself for the sake of Christ. I was willing, but I wondered how it fit with the promise that in Him I would find rest. It seemed I was being asked to take on even more than I already had to deal with.
Then I listened to a woman who described the nature of yokes. They are used in many areas of the world for both humans and beasts of burden. A good yoke is personally fit to the individual man or beast. It is specifically designed to make it a lot easier to carry whatever weight must be borne. When Christ asks us to take his yoke upon us, he is offering relief, not additional work. His yoke is easy and his burden is light, not the heavy, aching burdens we must bear without the help of the yoke he offers us. Loving, giving, finding joy, creating beauty, offering gratitude, forgiving, staying our frantic pace and contemplating wonder, all come with taking on his yoke.
Life has given me many opportunities to exercise the qualities He asks of me. Forgiving is possibly the hardest part of the yoke, and now that I look back on the path of my life, I can say I have forgiven and it has always blessed me to do so.

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