Last month, when we visited the Log Cabin Village in Ft. Worth, TX, we saw— and picked up— a yoke. As the woman explained how a yoke works, I had so many thoughts. I think part of the whole thought shift was the fact that I never actually thought of yokes as being something people carried— I always thought of them as something oxen were strapped with. But as I saw my husband lifting the yoke up and over his shoulders, the woman explained how carrying buckets of water was really hard on not just the arms, but the hands. The muscles would get tired, and the rough rope would dig into the palms and fingers, making it painful to carry water for long.
And it dawned on me— that the yoke doesn’t actually take the burden away, or make it “lighter” in pounds. But when the burden is wrapped around a yoke— the yoke shoulders the brunt of it. It makes carrying the same amount of water much easier. It saves the weaker joints and the muscles and skin from the extreme exhaustion of the task.
Another thing about the burden of carrying water is that it wasn’t optional— water was something that HAD to be found and transported. The burden wasn’t optional. Water was life, and finding it and taking it back to people and animals and plants HAD to happen.
Isn’t that the truth about life? There are burdens that we simply must carry. Daily. As much as we would want to skip a day or a week or even all of our lives— we can’t. The burden must be borne.
If our burden must be carried, why? Why do we insist on having it dig deep, in a way God didn’t design for us? Jesus is offering a way— the Way— to make our burdens easier to bear. The burden might remain, even in the same amount.
But with Jesus, we can rest.
He bears the brunt. He takes on our weight for us and in the doing, saves us from the acute, painful task of trying to do it all alone. 💛