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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by William A. Kolb

Monday, October 25

Come to 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.
—Matthew 11:28-30

Burdens are natural to this life. No matter how we try to avoid them, they come our way. They come because we want to have a meaningful life, and that involves work, responsibility and relationships. While those connections can bring fulfillment and joy, they also tend to involve burdens from time to time.

In our bible quote, Jesus says that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. He is telling us that if we will walk with him, he will take on our burdens, or at least the greater weight of them. 

A yoke is a piece of wood that goes over two oxen walking side by side. The bow of wood means that any weight or stumbling by one ox is shared by the other. If one of the animals is bigger or longer than the other, the yoke balances those differences.

When unwanted events throw us off balance, or threaten to overwhelm us, our burdens are lightened if we are walking beside the Lord and are "yoked" to him. Taking on that yoke means that help will be available, and we will not be alone when the vicissitudes of life menace our well-being.

It is true that taking on this yoke can in itself appear to be a burden, but in fact it is a way of becoming more of what we were created to be. It is most natural to be aligned with and connected to God, who created us. It is a way to come closer to the fullness of life.

Help us to walk beside you and to know that you walk beside us, O Lord, so that we will always have you close to us. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.