Blog: The Chaplain's Chirps

Why Carry The Burdens Of Life Alone?

10/06/2017 in by Giovanna Heron   () comments

Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.

Think of a garden or farm that has been completely overrun by weeds, and you want to make it into a healthy and beautiful garden. There is a lot of work involved. Ploughing is one way to prepare the soil, by uprooting any weeds that are left underground and bringing fresh nutrients to the surface. Ploughing is labouring work for the animals. But it’s interesting that this is also how Jesus likens the way that we carry our burdens. He says: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me”…

Typically the yoke is placed on the animal – the beam is over the shoulder and as the animal walks, they would pull along the soil to churn it up. Think about this process – in some places it may be softer soil, easier work; but then they may hit harder soil, or they may hit rocks. Think about their own physiological state, the more they go, the more they get tired, and they have to keep going so that the ground can be useful. 

Can we imagine ourselves in this context when we think about the hard work of keeping sin out of our lives? The constant toiling, hitting against rocks – the things that are more difficult to pass over than others, the things that really weigh us down and keep us stuck. The weeds or sins underneath that get stirred up that may cause us to pause as they become visible to us…maybe we didn’t even realize how deep their roots went?   Now imagine doing this all by yourself. This heavy yoke upon your shoulders as you try to make your garden, your life, one where blessings and good things can bloom. It’s hard work!

But what I love about the imagery that Jesus uses, with the yoke… It’s made for two!

Jesus knows that we could not save ourselves. He takes our yoke, our sins, and bears them as His own. We do not walk alone when we are yoked with Jesus. He says: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me”. You now have the freedom to act in your true nature, to be a covenant partner, and learn from Jesus… He is “gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.

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