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)
You turned water into wine - how extraordinary
Gave sight to the blind - and still I carry
My own load when you told me
To take your yoke ‘cause yours is easy. (From "Big Enough" by Ayeisha Woods)
I've been listening to "Big Enough" almost non-stop since discovering it yesterday. On the way home from work this one section of the first verse jumped out and smacked me upside the head (which was much needed) and I've just been chewing on it since. The verse she references is familiar. Most people who know anything about scripture at least know of this verse. It is oft quoted. I've quoted it myself, but I never thought about it the way I thought about it yesterday and am thinking about it now.
Take my yoke upon you...and still I carry my own load.
The Lord tells us to take HIS yoke upon us, for it is easy. The big "revelation" that came to me yesterday was this: His yoke is easy. Our yoke is not. When things are hard and burdensome and make us weary, it is very likely because we are carrying our yoke, not His because He says His is easy and light.
You may be thinking "DUH!", and probably rightfully so...but this was fresh perspective to me yesterday. I think I've just always thought that most of the Christian walk is just hard (if you're doing it "right" ha!), and should be, and we just have to bear that. What I didn't think was that the reason it is that way for a great many people, including myself, is because we spend far too much time putting our own yokes on, and hefting them around instead of the Lord's yoke.
There is evidence of this truth in my life. I look at some of the biggest changes the Lord has made in my life and, honestly, they were easy. He spoke, I stepped out in obedience, and step by step (with His yoke upon my shoulders) I cultivated spiritual disciplines, conquered sin, and saw my character change. It wasn't one fell swoop. I didn't leap from no time with the Lord to 2 hours in one day. I didn't change how I handled food overnight. The Lord prepared, laid the foundation, and gave direction; I, in turn, submitted and obeyed and walked in His direction. All of God. All of me...at the same time...one step at a time.
Isn't it kind of God that He doesn't expect us to go from Saul to Paul all at once? Isn't it equally kind that He bears with us when we put that expectation (or yoke) upon ourselves? In those moments He remains steadfast and lovingly says the words He said so long ago...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.