“Come to me, all who labour 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.”
Matthew 11:28-30, NIV
There is sometimes a difference between the burdens we choose to carry and the burdens which God equips us to be able to carry! God’s burdens are light, meaning that they fit perfectly with our gifting, our ability, our situation and our destiny. Whereas the things that we choose to carry can sometimes be ones that God has not prepared for us, or, even, ones that the enemy has loaded on our backs! It is these which cause us the greatest personal pressure, stress and distress.
We need to learn not to pick up unnecessary things, maybe because of pride, and how to exercise Holy Spirit discernment to recognise false burdens from the enemy of souls and not accept them as our responsibility. We then need not to be afraid of the things that the Lord does give us to do – for if it is truly He who has given them to us, then we can be sure that He has also equipped us to be able to carry that responsibility effectively.
An ‘easy yoke’ in our Scripture for today is one that perfectly fits the shoulders of the ox for which it was made. Not all oxen are the same and a skilled carpenter would carefully shape the yoke to fit the physique of the ox to which it would be fitted. As a carpenter, Jesus knew what He was talking about and this particular illustration would have been well understood by his hearers. An ox was capable of a massive amount of hard and heavy work – but only if the yoke was ‘easy’, meaning well-fitted. An ill-fitting yoke caused pressure and pain.
In these scriptures Jesus is saying come to Him and let Him decide what you should be carrying – let Him be the Carpenter who has shaped your yoke to fit you and knows exactly what You should be carrying!. There are times in my own life when I have felt excessive stress from the loads I was carrying and I have simply come to the Lord and talked to Him about each one. Invariably, at those times, there were things that I had unnecessarily been carrying and, on occasions, things that were clearly enemy inspired. I needed to do some pruning of the things that were causing the stress, so that I could more effectively carry the loads, even heavy ones, that God had made me to carry.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you have made and equipped me to be a carrier of loads that are perfectly fitted to who I am. But help me to recognise those things that You have not asked me to carry so that I can avoid being wrongfully heavy laden. I choose today to come to You that I may rest on who You are and discover afresh what You want me to be and to do. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.