RESTING WITH THE YOKE ON
“Take My yoke upon your shoulders and learn from Me.” –Matthew 11:29
Because God doesn’t grow weary (Is 40:28), and because we belong to God (Rm 14:7-8) and abide in God (Jn 15:4), His Word assures us that we won’t grow weary when we do His will (Is 40:29). God gives us strength as we bear the burden we are meant to bear, which is His yoke (Mt 11:29). The strength we need, and the rest we need, comes as we do His will.
Jesus came to remove the oppressive yoke of our sins, which burdens and weighs us down. He replaces that sinful yoke with His yoke, what He terms “My burden” (Mt 11:30). Jesus shares the yoke with us (and does most of the work) and even calls our burden “His” burden. Thus we “find rest” in bearing the burdens of this yoke by coming to Jesus, Who is right beside us in the other loop of the yoke. We can’t physically distance ourselves from Him, since He is yoked right next to us. However, most married couples can appreciate that someone can be right next to you, yet a million miles away. Therefore, we find rest by coming to Jesus, Who is right next to us, with humility, gratitude, and our full attention.
We have a choice to make in bearing Jesus’ yoke. We can regard it as a cross to bear and “say, ‘What a burden!’ ” (Mal 1:13) In this mindset, we might be following Jesus, but complaining and grumbling like the Israelites in the desert (see Nm 14:2ff). Alternatively, we can come to Jesus (Mt 11:28), accept His strength and help, and willingly go wherever He takes us. If we do this, we will find rest _ right in the midst of bearing His burden.
PRAYER: Father, may I always “strive to enter into [Your] rest” (Heb 4:11) and thus find Your strength.
PROMISE: “He pardons all your iniquities, He heals all your ills.” –Ps 103:3
PRAISE: St. Juan Diego’s humble obedience conquered the New World more than all the conquistadors combined.