Familiar words for most of us, right?
They've grated on me lately. I covered this in a study recently, and they've kept knocking around in my head, taunting me with their seeming promise of ease. My life isn't easy. I don't feel rested. Am I missing something?
I'm a very visual person, so I picture this scene. Someone who has been struggling to pull a load alone suddenly finds themselves alongside Jesus. He walks along, offering His help. The only requirement is that they yield their original direction to His guiding. One who accepts Him allows the burden to be shared (not removed), with His gentle and humble teaching of which way to actually go. It's not dominance. It's an urging to veer toward a new purpose...His. He gives us rest in freeing us from the responsibility to weigh all options in life and somehow sift out meaning. Our natural tendencies don't lead us there, but He will. We breathe that sigh of relief that comes from just not being alone.
I'm still a little lost on what I'm missing. Nice mental image...how does it look in real life?
What finally fills in the gaps for me is what He specifies is easy. His yoke. Not life. Not the path. Not a guaranteed lack of hills or rocks or struggle. The yoke, the sharing with Him, is easy. He makes the process easier, not easy. We still carry a burden. Life is still hard. Decisions are still a struggle. Our natural tendencies still fight to lead us. But His yoke, his prodding, is never the problem. It's our own fighting of it that cause us the most frustration. We get aggravated because life isn't going the way we want it to (amen, anyone?), instead of recognizing that our own selfishness and stubbornness are causing us to beat ourselves up fighting against a yoke that only chafes on those who resist it, having willingly received it in the first place.
The truth seems obvious. Living it is tough. But at least it makes a little more sense to me. When I feel restless, weary and burdened, I need to check myself. Maybe I'm exhausting myself pursuing the wrong things, trying to go where I shouldn't.