From the Desk of Cheryl Hauer
Did you ever try to make a deal with the Lord? You know, “Lord, if you just get me out of this mess, I promise I’ll never miss another prayer time as long as I live.” That kind of deal? I must confess as a young believer I tried it too many times. I hadn’t yet learned that the Lord doesn’t make deals, He extends mercy. He doesn’t barter with us, He simply gives us what is good and right and best. We don’t have to convince Him of what we need, He already knows and has it waiting for us. The answer to whatever problem we are facing is not in deal making, it is in trusting that He always knows what is best for us…and surrendering to His will so that He can make it happen.
Here’s an example: I was reading Matthew 11:28-30 the other day:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
And I was so encouraged as the Lord gave me a fresh look at this very familiar verse. I used to think of a “yoke” as a symbol of servitude and submission, and with my 21st century western eyes, as something unpleasant that I would have to learn to endure. But a yoke is actually a wonderful thing. Yes, it does symbolize submission, but it is also a symbol of coupling, of coming together, of uniting in purpose with another. And those first century farmers that Jesus was talking to when He first spoke those words would have recognized the beauty of what He was saying. You see, they were familiar with the yoke, they used it often. But they always yoked an older, experienced animal with a younger, less trained one. That way, the younger learned from the older and the experienced one bore most of the burden.
So the Lord is actually giving us a bit of a comparison here. His yoke isn’t one of servitude that we must learn to endure. That only happens when we struggle against it, try to barter our way out. His yoke is an invitation to relationship wherein we can walk with Him, trusting in His extravagant love, united in purpose, as He constantly teaches us how to be more like Him. And all the while, He is bearing the burdens while we are finding rest. How’s that for a deal?!
Blessings and Shalom,