The Yokes on Me
by Rhonda Rhea
You know how I usually know I’ve been too busy? I open the refrigerator door and find fur. And then I stand there for several seconds, wondering what it used to be. Then I stand there another several seconds, wondering if I should have it spayed or neutered.
It happened again the other day. I was standing with the fridge door open, and my son told me he heard something groaning. I assured him it was only me.
They heard my groaning, yet there is no one to comfort me. –For I must clean the refrigerator myself. That’s from Lamentations 1:21. Except I added the entire last sentence.
At the point I start rewriting Lamentations, I usually figure out that I’m too busy and it’s time to formulate another plan. Here’s the part where I have to confess that my Plan B is almost always exactly like my Plan A—only with more coffee.
The better Plan B? It rests in the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30. And actually it’s much more appropriate as a Plan A. “Come to me, all who labor 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,” (ESV).
As vital as it is for our bodies to spend time at rest, it’s even more vital for us to embrace some soul-rest. Anytime we’re feeling spiritually troubled, heavy-laden or burned out, Jesus reminds us, “Come to Me.”
When your mind is cluttered with a worried jumble of to-do lists and your heart is weighted down with distresses and difficulties, your Savior comes along with this reminder that He waits for you. He waits for you to come. It’s His desire to be your comfort, your encouragement, your hope, your victory. And all you have to do is…come.
How do we come to Him? We come as we sort out our priorities and line up our plans for every day with His. We come to Him as we make prayer and worship a priority and give His Word an uninterruptible place on the schedule. In those precious places of prayer and worship and in reading His Word, we find indescribable comfort. And guess what else we find. We find the items on an overwhelming to-do list coming into perspective and sorting themselves out. Often those things sort themselves out as we discover His calling to lay down a heavy yoke we’ve placed on ourselves—our own plans and some kind of big, fat, misdirected agenda. As we exchange those plans for His, we find a yoke that’s a much more comfy fit. Exchanging the yoke we’ve made for the one He has for us is always a trade of victory. We find grace. We find inspiration to keep going. We find joy. We find…Him.
Isn’t it fascinating that any yoke I place on myself is utterly and entirely exhausting? And isn’t it even more fascinating that the yoke of Christ is invigorating to the max in every little corner of my soul?
Every day, for every list, I need to remember to rest in Him. To give my soul a break, and to “come.”
As far as the fridge is concerned, I would love a break there, too, but I don’t see it happening. Looks like I’m going to have to knuckle down and clean it. Or maybe shave it.