When Nathan was diagnosed with autism I went through many dark nights where I felt the weight of the world of his diagnosis on my shoulders. It was too heavy to carry all by myself. I also went through a phase when I was mad that God wouldn’t heal him when I knew He could.
What I didn’t realize then was that this “burden” would make me a stronger, better person as I yoked myself to Jesus.
A few years ago in Sunday School we had a really good discussion about burdens, yokes and the strength of Jesus Christ in Matt 11:28-30,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
These verses have brought me such peace at several dark and difficult times of my life.
Here are some insights we discussed and how there are some actions that we need to take on to yoke ourselves to the Savior:
1. Come you that labor and are heavy laden
We have to be willing to give God a chance, to even think of turning towards him and coming unto Him–even and especially if life is not going the way we thought or planned.
The invitation is to come if you feel like you are working or laboring very hard and that your burdens are too heavy for you to carry. I have felt like that at many points in my life–overwhelmed, discouraged, burdened, and despairing.
When I have felt that way, there have been many times I have heeded this invitation to come to Jesus. I have prayed and dropped that burden on Him, and He has blessed me with peace in the middle of my storm.
2. Take His yoke
When we are exhausted we often don’t feel we can do one more thing or we will break. The interesting thing about taking on the Savior’s yoke is that even though we have to do a few more things like pray, try to keep His commandments, or go to church–that suddenly He is helping us to carry the heavy load to begin with.
I have a saying, “Two people can do anything as long as one of them is God.”
As I have humbled myself enough to submit to His yoke, I have found strength and healing and courage to go on. God is good that way.
3. Learn of Him
As I have read the scriptures and learned about Jesus Christ, I have learned that understanding a few of His characteristics helps me to understand Him and my relationship with Him better.
- He loves me. I am loved by a God who sees my imperfections and weaknesses and still loves me enough to die for me.
- He is kind and good and isn’t giving me hard things because He is mean or cruel or because I made a mistake.
- He is there to help me through my challenges when I come unto Him.
- His purpose was to teach and heal–and I need that in my life. I need to be taught and I need to heal from self-inflicted sins and wounds given me by others.
- He was humble and submissive. Jesus Christ submitted to the Father and suffered for our sins even though it was so excruciatingly hard and He didn’t want to do it. If He could do all that, perhaps I too can submit to God in my hard times and go through things I would rather not.
- As I have learned of Him and yoked myself to Him I can become a little more like Him. I can be a Christian and treat others with love and kindness.
4. Jesus is meek
One thing that was pointed in our Sunday School discussion was something I had never noticed before in the middle of these verses. In verse 29 Jesus says, “for I am meek and lowly in heart.”
What does that mean? Why is it in the middle of these verses?
- One person commented that to them it meant that Jesus is approachable and that no matter our past or our sins or whatever we have done that He is willing to yoke himself to us and help us carry our load.
- Meekness, to me, means a bridled or a controlled strength. He was also lowly or humble in His heart. So, Jesus has a humble strength that makes him an ideal person to be yoked to. He is strong enough to help carry any of our burdens, and He is humble enough to say, I have felt alone and despairing too, so let me help you carry this burden.
Looking back through the years, I am thankful that I got over my anger at God and came unto Him. Christ is very approachable, and I have felt my burden lifted as I have yoked myself to Him.
It doesn’t mean that I haven’t stumbled a little here or there. I am just glad I am yoked to someone stronger and wiser than I am. He has helped me find solutions to problems along the way, helped me shoulder many more burdens, and has even helped calm a storm or two. God is a good person to have on your side:).
Call to action
Share this with someone whose burdens might seem extremely heavy today. It might just be the answer to someone’s prayer. Remember, God loves you.