My Type-A personality makes me hate group projects. Usually because there is ALWAYS at least one person in the group who doesn’t have the vision. Predictably, there is also one person so inept; he or she can only be trusted with buying the poster board as the contribution to the project. Sometimes, that slacker bungles even that small task. With my pride is at stake, I take over and make sure the project is a success. I am willing–no matter how stressful it is–to do most all of the project on my own.
Has this project we call “life” you worn out? If so, the words of Jesus in Matthew are a perfect for you. Once again, you’ll notice that Jesus is calling us to a backwards, upside down sort of life.
As Jesus prayed, He mentioned the difference between the know-it-alls and the ordinary people.
Then, I think tenderly, Jesus gave the call to the tired, the worn out, those trying to do it on their own and those hoping a few religious actions will make-do. What He said on the surface sounds silly. Take My yoke and you’ll find rest — exactly how does that work?
If you don’t know what a yoke is, it’s a heavy piece of wood strapped to the oxen so the farmer or cart driver can control them and so 2 oxen can work together.
So how does picking up one more thing make your burden lighter?
Jesus’ implication is, put down your stuff and pick up My yoke. Plowing alone can’t be much fun. If you are the only one working, you are doing all the work yourself. If you are trying to be good enough on your own, if you are depending on your own efforts, you are weary and worn out. The payoff is not equal to the amount of work you put into process. You may be ready to give up and that might not be so bad.
Jesus is calling you to put down your work and pick up His. Instead of doing all the work yourself you’ll find His yoke is easy because He bears the load. He did all the work on Calvary. Now you only have to keep in step with Him, in His life for you, under the yoke of His grace.
Working toward a goal along with someone who was willing to do all the work but let you have all the credit, that is a dream come true. That is what Jesus is offering when He says pick up my yoke and find rest.
Put all of your things down and pick up Jesus. He will do the work. His requirement is to keep in step with Him while living in His grace.
Father, loosen my grip on my plans and agenda. Teach me to see that you have a plan that Jesus has all ready worked out for me.