Today I am pleased to share the encouragement of a good friend. Christi Naler is a fellow Marine wife and is very active with women’s ministry at Quantico.
Christi (2nd row, 2nd from left) is a creative and gracious friend. She holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is mother of a 13 year old. Today, she shares a few thoughts on Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”
Do you ever feel like you can’t find your way; that life is just too complicated? It’s often difficult to make the best decisions during times of stress, and sometimes our circumstances can feel really heavy.
Well, I have good news for those of you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. We have not been left here to bear the load on our own. Scripture tells us that, if we are children of God, we can rest confidently in the promise that Jesus Christ will guide us and bear the weight of life along-side us.
Help for the weary
”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 NIV).
David Guzik’s commentary helped me understand what word picture Jesus was trying to convey to His listeners. When ancient farmers would train a new ox, they would often yoke or harness the young animal beside a stronger, more experienced ox. This pairing would bear the burden of the work load and help guide the younger animal through the learning process.
Yoked with Christ
When we give our lives to Jesus Christ and choose to follow His teaching, our Father God yokes or bonds us together with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Jesus, as well as being our redeemer, is our stronger, more experienced guide, who teaches us His Father’s perfect ways. His yoke is not burdensome or heavy because He is the one bearing the burden of the work load of our salvation.
Does this mean life will be easier for Christians? Unfortunately, no. Jesus says His yoke is easy, not because he is making lighter demands of us, but because we are entering into a relationship that symbolizes a disciple-mentor bond. The young disciple doesn’t need to have all of the answers or worry about her lack of strength. She can rest assured that her Mentor will lead her in the right direction, sharing His strength as they go.
Which way will we choose?
When two are yoked together they can only go one direction, but Jesus will not force us to go His way. When yoked with Jesus, we must choose to go His way or we will never grow in our faith. A daily relationship of yielding to Jesus and obeying His word will change our thinking about every aspect of life. Jesus promises to gently and humbly guide us through this learning process. He will teach us how to make godly decisions so we can steer clear of the negative consequences of sin, and direct us through the confusing circumstances of life so we can be confident we are doing the will of God.
If we are willing to learn from our Redeemer, He will teach us how to manage our lives in such a way that we will be set apart for God and a light to the world. We still have to put forth great effort to deal with life’s demands, but we can find rest from fear and worry knowing that Jesus is always there to guide us and give us His strength to bear the load.