Come to Me...and I will give you rest...Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me...and you will find rest for your souls... Matthew 11:28-29
I'm such a worker bee...how about you? I get great satisfaction out of accomplishing something. It can be a "driven" thing if I'm not careful. By the time I realize it, I'm really dragging! And rather than being satisfied, I'm disgruntled and out of sorts!
Being the worker bee is especially dangerous when it comes to the spiritual life. I lived for a long time under the yoke of what I call "to do list" Christianity. What a bondage! Self-effort doesn't work when it comes to doing what only God can do...which is anything and and everything of any spiritual value.
That's why I love the Lord's invitation,
Take my yoke upon you...and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:29-30
Rest is a gift. Anapausis, the inner tranquility of soul while engaged in our necessary labors, can only be mine when I respond to Jesus' gracious words, Come...Take...
But how can rest be mine while I am working...doing what needs to be done? It's all wrapped up in the image of the yoke.
A yoke is a bar or frame of wood to attach two animals (such as oxen or other draft animals) together for work.
I love this image of being yoked to Christ. Notice who takes on Whose yoke -- Jesus calls me to take on HIS yoke...I don't try to get Him to take on MY yoke.
But isn't that what we often do? We "invite" Him to take on OUR yoke...we take on a project and then ask the Lord to bless and prosper it! But the question always needs to be...is it HIS yoke? He is the source of the work and the power behind it all. He invites me to join Him in HIS work because of my union with Him.
The late Maj. W Ian Thomas describes this taking on Jesus' yoke as the faith-rest life:
...Christ is in action, and you in your humanity are simply the clothes of His divine activity. This is the rest of faith...it is your hands with which He is at work, your lips with which He is speaking, your eyes with which He sees the need, your ears with which He hears the cry, and your heart with which He loves the lost. The Indwelling Life of Christ, p 99
Fellow worker bees, join me in responding in a new way today to Jesus gracious invitation:
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. Matthew 11:29-30
Once my hands were always trying,
Trying hard to do my best,
Now my heart is sweetly trusting,
And my soul is all at rest.
Once my brain was always planning,
And my heart, with cares oppressed,
Now I trust the Lord to lead me,
And my life is all at rest.
Once my life was full of effort,
Now ‘tis full of joy and zest;
Since I took His yoke upon me
Jesus gives to me His rest.