A Vacation I Can Take Anytime (Part 3)

by Jun 7, 2007

In order to find rest, you want me to come to you, Lord.

OK, that sounds easy enough. But then you want me to do more: take your yoke upon me.

Hmmmm. Not to argue or anything, but isn’t the word “yoke” just about the exact opposite of the word “rest?” Yokes are all about work. Obligations. Duties that need to be performed. I’m sure that’s how the people in your day understood it, what with all the rules and regulations they had to follow to please God.

You’re telling me, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” but I’m not so sure I can buy that at face value. I mean, there are plenty of things you require that don’t seem very light. Loving my enemies. Being perfect just as God is perfect. Taking up my cross and following you. That’s pretty heavy stuff.

Maybe you have something different in mind than I do when I think of the word “easy.” I see here that the word you used can also be translated “suitable” or “well-fitting.” So you’re not saying that life as your disciple will be painless and carefree, you’re saying that it will be custom-fitted to suit my particular makeup of giftedness, personality, and pain-tolerance.

Maybe the reason I get exhausted is because I’m wearing the wrong yoke, one that wasn’t fitted for me. Overburdening myself with things I think are important. Taking on too many different responsibilities and stretching myself too thin. Expecting to accomplish too much too quickly.

All of these things seem important to me. Most of them are even righteous and honorable, but some of them just aren’t part of the yoke that you made for me. They’re part of the yoke I made for myself. And if I take Psalm 127 seriously, I’m wasting my time pursuing them:

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”