“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.” Matthew 11:28-30
A yoke goes across two animals connecting them to a plow or wagon. Yokes are made specifically to fit the body frame of a particular animal. A friend of mine watched two oxen end their work day and observed the yoke being removed from their shoulders. She noticed that the skin of one of the oxen had been injured by the rubbing of the yoke which caused bleeding and skin abrasions. Upon asking about the injury, the owner shared that the injured ox was recently purchased as a replacement for his earlier ox that had died. The new ox’s injury was caused by wearing a yoke designed for another ox.
What a picture of the danger of carrying loads not designed for us and being yoked to a wrong master. Christ alone knows us intimately: our background, skills, talents and the baggage we carry from past hurtful experiences. He has adequate and complete knowledge to lead, direct, and work with us through life’s journey. He created us to carry His load under His gentle guidance and safe leadership, not the loads of others. Be cautious of the burden of performing for and pleasing others. Avoid carrying the load of others that He has placed upon their shoulders.
True freedom is found in surrendering to Christ’s lordship and in being protectively and securely yoked to Him.
Father, help me to surrender to your lordship alone. Help me recognize when I am wrongly yoked to performance and carrying burdens not intended for me. Let me live in the freedom of obedience to you.