"I led them with cords of human kindness and with ties of love;
I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them."
Steve's mum handed me a card with this verse on it last time we were in New Zealand. I found it in my Book again recently not long after I read this:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Since then I've been thinking a lot about yokes.........
The truth is the yoke doesn't always seem easy or light. It's often heavy and cumbersome. But if I believe that my Father means what He says, I have to believe the above verses. And that makes me consider what it is that sometimes makes that yoke weigh so much. And why do I try to carry it anyway?
The answer I've come up with is this------Myself and my own expectations.
I have pretty high expectations of myself and sometimes that's colored by real or perceived expectations of others as well. These can become a heavy burden that my Father hasn't put on me. I frequently forget that I'm not super human after all and expect myself to perform at the same level as everyone around me, whether I've been given the same gifts or grace that they have or not.
Heavy, tiring yoke. I still have a lot to, "....learn from me (Him)."
I am, "Fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 129:14)," to carry the yoke that He has for me. The rest? I just want to lay it down.
It's hard when it looks like good stuff, though! It's difficult to give myself a break when I'm living among the poor and no matter which way you look at it their lives appear harder than mine.
My sister-in-law gave birth to my niece when she was only 24 weeks pregnant. I can't remember how many times the doctors told her and my brother that their precious firstborn may not survive the night. When I finally got to see them (and my niece) I remember expressing how agonizing that must have been for them and that I didn't know if I could have done it. She turned to me with a look of amazement on her face and said, "Heather, I could never do what YOU do either!"
Different yokes for different folks. :-)
I'm in the process of figuring out exactly what my yoke is in the different contexts of my life. And the key to that is obviously communication with and time in the presence of the One who gives out yokes, or "ties of love," anyway.