Listen: Troy Sneed, "Lay It Down"
A young ox, being trained to the yoke, is placed with an older more experienced animal. The older one carries the brunt of the load. Most of the weight is put upon him. The younger one must learn to pace itself, not too fast, and not too slow. It learns when to start and stop. It learns from it's partner how to be in "relationship".
So it is with Jesus. When we give our lives to God, we are spiritually yoked to the Lord. We learn what spiritual relationships mean. As we go through life, we carry heavy burdens. We encounter obstacles that we must overcome. We grow weary. Jesus calls those who are burdened to come to him. Twice in these two verses he promises rest. Rest is part of God's creation. We are meant to rest -- rest gives us restoration of strength and spirit. Allowing ourselves to be yoked to Jesus gives us balance -- work and rest. If we are workaholics we are taught to let go, to lay down the burden and rest.
As we walk along side Jesus, we learn the task of plowing through life's soil and becoming more like him. Jesus assures us that he is "gentle and humble in heart." He leads us securely, patiently, so we too can develop a heart that is gentle and humble. Imagine: gentleness carrying the burden of our lives. Humbleness soothing our weariness? Such is the way of the Lord.
God has also spiritually yoked us as brothers and sisters in faith. We help carry each other's heavy burdens in our sharing and caring. We help each other to turn it over to God. We build in opportunities to rest, relax and fellowship. And together we learn to be gentle and humble with each other ...following the footsteps of our Savior.
PRAY: "Lord, I am tired. I am weary. My burden's are heavy, as are so many. Teach us to lean on you and find rest."