We all carry burdens. I don’t know what yours are, but I suspect I’m in the norm with my load. My burdens include caring for my family and supporting them – which includes being a good dad and investing in my marriage (being a good husband) and being a good son to my parents. I feel the burden of moving our church in the direction God wants us to go, and I feel a burden for people around us who don’t know Jesus. There is the burden of maintenance – like all the things around my house that need attention. And there are so many people who are hurting – I feel a certain burden for them. Oh, and it’s Christmas…so I feel the burden to put up decorations (at home and in my office) and buy gifts and make gifts.
I could go on, but I don’t have to. You feel the weight of burdens too, don’t you? Take a minute now and make your own list of burdens. Go ahead. No one else will know. Just write them all down. All that weighs on you.
Seriously. I’ll wait.
Now that you’ve done that, read Matthew 11:28-30.
Le’ts unpack this a little. A yoke is a plowing instrument, placed on the neck of the animal pulling the plow. It looks like this:
The image Jesus uses is that we have a yoke around our necks and we’re pulling a heavy load. We’re burdened and, at times, weary. When we are, we can come to Him and realize that He offers us a ‘yoke exchange.’ It’s one of the GREAT hopes of Christmas, that God will break the yoke that weighs us down. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus these words:
you have shattered the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. (Isaiah 9:4, NIV)
So, are you over-burdened this Christmas? If so, be reminded that your Hope this year is that you do not have to carry the weight of the world on your own shoulders. he offers you a burden exchange. Give your great burdens to God, and accept the rest He offers you.
Pray today that God would allow you to see Him – not you – as running the world. Pray that God would help you gain good perspective on your own role. Pray that you will get to experience His perfect peace and rest, even in the hectic chaos or heavy burdens you feel.