“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.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Picture yourself taking His yoke upon you. What do you see? Do you see yourself carrying a balanced burden using a yoke He has designed especially for your body, to enable you to bear your burdens as easily as possible? Is the burden that you carry heavy, but more efficiently borne because of the yoke He has given you to help you carry it?
Alma asked the people he was teaching in the wilderness if they were “willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.” He told them this was one of the requirements for baptism. Who are we told to emulate in this life? Who is our great Example? Christ, of course. We are counseled to become like Him. If we are to “bear one another’s burdens” as a prerequisite to baptism we must be following Christ’s example in which He bears ours!
President Howard W. Hunter explained what is meant by “take my yoke upon you.”
Why do we hesitate to take His yoke upon us?
For some, the culture of self-reliance has become twisted in our minds to the extent that we think it means we have to exhaust every ounce of human strength within our bodies before we can ask for His help. If this is what is holding you back, I would encourage you to watch “His Grace is Sufficient,” an inspiring and informative BYU Devotional talk by Brad Wilcox.
Some people are afraid “His yoke” will be heavier than their own; that taking His yoke upon them will add to their existing burden. He promises that if we will take His yoke upon us He will give us rest! His yoke is lighter than ours because He carries most of the weight. Imagine if you were in a double yoke pulling a heavy cart and the person sharing the yoke with you was a small child. Who would be carrying most of the weight? You, of course. And suppose there was rocky ground and the child lost their footing and was stumbling and struggling to regain it and keep up with you. Would the child’s struggle make it easier or harder for you to pull the load? Harder! When we are sharing a yoke with the Lord, if we come to rocky ground and lose our footing, we make His job more difficult by trying desperately to figure out how to regain our balance for ourselves. During those times, we need to lift our feet and allow Him to carry us to smooth ground and resume our journey.
Finally, some are reluctant to be yoked to the Lord because they are not really sure they can trust Him. They are afraid that the direction He will pull or the weight of the load or the speed of the journey will not be what they would choose. They are reluctant to turn their will and their lives over to His care. They think that they are more capable of choosing the best (easiest) path for themselves than He is. Through Malachi the Lord challenges us to “prove me now herewith.” Alma also challenged the people to test the Lord.
“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” (Alma 32:27)
To you who are not sure you can trust Him, I say, give Him a chance. You can always take back control later if He proves unworthy of your trust. But give Him enough time to get some results before giving up.
I challenge you to try taking the Lord’s double yoke upon you. If you have already done so, and the journey still seems harder than it should be, I would encourage you to ask Him how to lift your feet and allow Him to carry you to smoother ground.
- What burdens are you carrying in your journey?
- What are you doing to make your journey harder than it needs to be?
- What will you do today to “take His yoke upon you” as a way to enable Him to make your burden light and grant you rest?
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Credits: Single yoke image: Copyright: xochicalco / 123RF Stock Photo, Double yoke image.