An Easy Yoke And A Light Burden

July 26, 2020
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When John and I married, I moved from the city to the farm. Being so close to God's handiwork in nature, I learned life's lessons by observation and experience.

John's grandparents had homesteaded the farm on Manitoulin Island in northern Ontario, Canada. To be able to claim the land, Grandfather had to clear five acres of land and build a house in a year. Three different men had tried to claim the land before John's family but had failed to meet the requirements.

It was interesting to go into the barn and see equipment from the 1800s. Although Grandfather had horses, hanging on the wall of the barn was a double yoke. A friend had given it to him as a gift. Two young oxen would have been hitched together in the yoke to pull a wagon, or stumps, or boulders. A farmer would try to get two oxen the same size, height, and weight. This way the animals would work well together and share the load. My mind tried to imagine what it was like to live back in those days.

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (NIV)

Jesus gave a wonderful message of hope to the crowd. People need rest from their physical, mental, spiritual, and psycho-social burdens. We call these the cares of life. Jesus has said, "Come to Me, step into My yoke, and we will share the burden together." As a result, our burdens are lightened because they are given to God.

As I was trying to explain this encouraging promise to children at church a number of years ago, I put one side of the yoke on my shoulders and asked a young boy to put the other side on his shoulders. I asked, "Is that comfortable?" His reply was, "No, it hurts." He was not as tall as I was. The yoke was quite heavy on him, because he was carrying most of the weight.

Then I asked my husband John to put the yoke on his shoulders and stand together by me. I asked, "Is it comfortable?" John said, "Yes." John was my height. We carried the yoke equally.

I explained to the children that Jesus comes alongside anyone who asks. Christ is just the right size and height for everyone, whether child or adult.

We all need to grasp onto this promise of hope, rest, and lightened burdens. As people of faith, may we also give others the message of hope found in Jesus Christ, who says, "Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Prayer: Father, help us to witness for the One who loved us and went to Calvary so that He could share our burdens. Amen.


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About the author:

Ruth Rowe <ruthjohn.rowe@gmail.com>
Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A wonderful analogy, Ruth, and a great application.


    What a wonderful analogy! Thank you for today’s devotional.


    So good. Thank you. I’ve forwarded it to my group of young people.


    Amen Ruth. Great story and application.
    Blessings.


    An interesting message that we all need, Ruth. Thanks, and blessings!


    Good illustration for a wonderful promise. And what an interesting family history!


    Thank you so much, Ruth. This is such a wonderful example of the yoke we share.


    Thank you, Ruth, enjoyed reading your devotional. Thanks again and have a great week.


    Dear Ruth Rowe,
    Your devotional flows well from beginning to end.
    Thanks for the example of sharing burdens.


    Wow, Ruth! You provided us with a demo right alongside these good words! We can visualize that wonderful yoke you had to show the children and the equalization that took place! Thank you for the inspiration.


    Dear Ruth, I so enjoyed your story to the children at church. I also had experiences on a century farm, and the same story of clearing the land & building a log house. My ancestors actually had a team of oxen, and they drove them 10 k to church on a Sunday. That would be a long journey. I think your sharing the yoke will be a lesson they will probably share with their children someday. Thank you for your devotional.


    I would have loved to be in the Sunday School class where you taught via the “yoke” experience. First of all, for those children to even seen a yoke such as you used would have been an experience.
    Thank you for writing about Jesus sharing our yokes.
    (USA)


    Hello, Ruth,
    Since we can’t do anything in the church now, we had our service in the Courtyard. Many people worship the building, but we as the people are the church. No one from our church have been hit with the disease so we are greatly blessed. Thank you for your encouraging devotional.
    God bless you in many special and surprising ways.


    Hello Ruth,
    Thank you for this devotional today giving a very descriptive explanation of the “yoke”. I’m sure it will be a memorable Sunday school lesson to the children. Our Lord is so awesome in sharing the load of whatever befalls us and trusting in Him definitely lifts the burdens that we may face.
    Blessings for this mindful writing.
    (B.C.)


    Hi Ruth,
    A very good devotional this morning, the passage from Matthew 11 is one of my favorite passages, I cite it often in my pastoral activities. When I worked in the Middle East in 1965/66, I saw oxen being used quite often, to cultivate fields and also to draw water from a well in the desert.
    Thank you for writing.


    Lovely, thank you. I went to bed last night with this verse in my heart and head.
    Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (NIV)
    And then low and behold it turns up with today’s devotional! I love God, He has such timing! (and sense of humor)
    Thank you for sharing!


    Dear Ruth,
    I am sure that using the illustration to the children would help them to really grasp the learning and they would remember it for a long time. Your devotional ties in wonderfully to yesterday’s by Lynne on partnership. Thank you for sharing your unique experiences and helping us to remember the people who came and settled Canada to make it a wonderful country for us to live in. May you always share a yoke with Jesus to lighten your load and may you find many others to share your yoke so you can help to lighten theirs. Thanks.


    You were obviously a creative teacher.
    This illustration will stay with me.

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