In Others’ Words: God, You, and a Yoke (Guest Post)

Yoke is Easy 2015
Really? Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light? Saving all of creation by dying for us is easy?

When I look at who Jesus was trusting in to do the work – God the Father – and that Jesus knew his Father was trustworthy, ultimately powerful and infinitely gracious … then I see why Jesus thought his burden was light.

I can too readily rely on my trustworthiness, my power, and my graciousness … and I know them to be faulty, weak and imperfect. I grow disappointed, work-weary, burdened by worries and failures.

Jesus does not reproach me, but offers to let me learn from him. A yoke is a wooden farm implement that went over and around the necks of two oxen to link them together to a plow. An older, more experienced ox was often paired with a younger ox. The farmer guided the team and the younger animal would learn what the commands meant, how to pull through soft or hard soil, up or down hills, by seeing how the more experienced ox plowed. The older beast would pull more of the load, do more of the work — teaching the younger by example.

When I follow Jesus’ example then I, too, can trust that all my life will be guided by an infinitely wise farmer and a powerful, experienced plowing partner who knows what I am going through and walks with me the whole length of the field.

The result? An easy yoke to carry, with a light task.

And soul-rest.

In Your Words: Whose yoke are you carrying? Yours, someone else’s, Jesus’ ? How’s that going for you?

IMG_7008 With thanks to my husband Rob, who volunteered to guest blog for me last night when I was falling asleep over my keyboard. He’s a compassionate man, yes — and wise.

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10 Comments

  1. February 6, 2015, 5:44 am   /  Reply

    I love the powerful Beth-Rob team. Great stuff, keep it coming, and, yes, get restful sleep and lean into that wonderful strong ox we’re yoked with.

    • February 6, 2015, 9:24 am   /  Reply

      Delores, I apologize for spelling your name wrong in my comment.

      You may call me Yndrew.

      Or Androow.

    • February 6, 2015, 12:51 pm   /  Reply

      Love your comment, Dee — and yes, Rob and I consider ourselves a team. And I am thankful for it. For him.

  2. Pat
    February 6, 2015, 6:51 am   /  Reply

    I love that verse. and it’s such a beautiful picture of Jesus.

    • February 6, 2015, 12:52 pm   /  Reply

      This is one of my favorite verses too, Pat, and quite an image of collaboration.

  3. February 6, 2015, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    I agree with Dolores. Love the team, and I’m waving my Big Foam We’re # 1 Finger as a benediction.

    I always thought of this passage a bit differently…as the path he offered to those who thought they had to please God by keeping over 600 rules.

    He certainly did offer a lighter yoke…Love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. That’s what, three?

    In terms of leaning into Him, it’s something I can’t feel or see at the moment. It hurts too much. I have to get to my feet by my own wits, and by force of will move each foot forward. Maybe it’s a test, maybe God’s busy elsewhere, maybe my head is so messed up with pain that I can’t hear Him even if He shouts.

    What I figure is that I still have a job to do, and He’s trusting me to get it done on my own.

    Fine with me; He needs to help the people who can’t hack it. I can.

    • February 6, 2015, 12:53 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew, I learn so much from you — and you are a fighter, not a quitter, that is for sure and certain.
      And yet, I know that there are times when God is the closest to us — and we are unaware.
      Just a thought.

  4. February 6, 2015, 11:33 am   /  Reply

    This verse was the theme verse for our church when I was a wandering twenty-something. The first day I visited it, I took so much comfort from seeing it on the bulletin. All the things I was doing then didn’t show me “who I was.” But this verse, being knitted back together to him, did.

    Thanks for the reminder of how much I need that yoke.

    • February 6, 2015, 12:54 pm   /  Reply

      How interesting, Angie … thanks for sharing this. I smiled so wide as I read your comment.:)

  5. February 6, 2015, 3:20 pm   /  Reply

    What a great post. I’ve always loved this passage. And I loved what Rob said about how Jesus “offers” to let us learn from Him. He doesn’t insist we take His guidance. He doesn’t push it on us. He offers. I hadn’t seen that before.

    I’m so thankful He’s the lead ox in our pairing. I sometimes get a sore neck from trying to veer off my own way. When I choose to yield to where He’s leading, I am able to rest in the walking. If that makes sense. I’ve got much food for thought. 🙂

    And Beth, I agree with what others have said. You two are an amazing team. 🙂 Just sayin’.

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