I never understood biblical metaphors like Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
I don’t want the Lord to be my shepherd? (It’s a good thing I was a cute child!)
Psalm 23 goes on to talk about God leading me to still waters.
Full disclosure, I would rather be led to Krispy Creme when the HOT button is on!
He also makes me lie down in green pastures?
I wish he would make me lie down on one of those Tempur-pedic beds! (Have you tried one…The Husband and I are shopping for a new mattress! It’s DREAMY!!)
“Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light” wasn’t helpful information for me to gain insight into how God works.
All it did was make me think about Jesus eating eggs.
During our Take heart series I have talked about God’s unfailing love, the Hope we can have in Him, and that we are safe to put our trust in Him.
This week, I want to talk about REST.
Not Tempur-pedic bed rest, but spiritual rest.
Rest that comes from knowing you don’t have to figure life out on your own.
I DO anxious like a Rock Star but I stink at rest!
Here’s a Quiz:
You and your husband decide to drive to Home Depot.
On the way there, Husband pulls into the car wash.
What do you do?
A. Express appreciation to your husband for being thoughtful and taking good care of you car.
B. Get bent out of shape because Car Wash was NOT in the plan!
If you chose B, the support group for husbands of wives who have control issues will start once I plan it. (I’ll make cookies!)
Learning what Matthew 11:30 really means challenges me daily (and sometimes HOURLY) to practice REST.
“For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
First things first. It’s YOKE not YOLK. (Glad I cleared that up for myself!)
Now, to understand this passage, you have to know the context.
Jesus was speaking to the people about spiritual burdens that the Pharisees had played upon them.
Some say the Pharisees added over 600 regulations about what “working” on the Sabbath meant.
Legalism leads to guilt, shame, self-righteousness, and burdens no one could endure.
Take my yoke (not yolk) upon you and learn from me.
This was the perfect metaphor for people to understand.
A yoke (not yolk) is a fitted harness that secures 2 oxen together.
The farmer is specific about the oxen he uses to pull the cart.
On one side, the farmer secures the yoke to the ox that’s well-trained, knows what’s going on, and has been with him for a while.
On the other side, he secures the younger, possibly stubborn, know it all ox that needs direction.
The younger ox gets “on the job” training.
He takes his cue from the other ox.
If the stubborn ox turns the wrong way, he’s unable to go too far because he and the wiser ox are secured to the same yoke.
When the oxen are walking together, the yoke rests upon them and the cart is easily pulled.
The journey is only uncomfortable when the stubborn ox wants to take his own course.
But, the wiser ox knows the way.
He knows where the path dips, where the rough patches are, and how steep the hills will be.
He has walked this path before and he trusts the farmer.
This does NOT mean the JOURNEY will be easy, it means we are not alone along the way.
Jesus was urging the people to secure themselves to Him, not to the laws the Pharisees were forcing upon them.
1 John 5:3-4 (ESV- emphasis mine)
For this is the love of God, that we keep HIS commandments. And HIS commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.
Give up doing it the hard way!
Unburden yourself from going it alone, feeling like you HAVE to control everything, or that YOUR way is the Best way!
Be secured to Christ.
He is walking beside us pulling our burdens to lighten the load.
The next time The Husband pulls into the car wash, I will remember, “I am the stubborn ox!”Don't be the Stubborn Ox. Click To Tweet
And let God lead you to still waters!
It’s better for you than Krispy Creme.
To celebrate the end of this series, I have a gift for you!
I had these Take Heart Notecards made up for you to download.
You can print them off on card-stock to write scripture, an encouraging note, or just “DON”T BE THE STUBBORN OX!”
I would LOVE to see how you use them! Post a pic on Instagram with #takeheartingod