“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” NIV, or as the NLT translates, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” – Romans 12:12 NIV, NLT
Hope, Patience, and Faithfulness. Not exactly what we want to hear when we are going through trials, and it’s a daily struggle for me to do these things. I like the way the NLT phrases it: “Rejoice in our confident hope…” Hope is what gets us through the hard times, but not just any hope. Without the Hope of Redemption by Jesus Christ, anything else fades away.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Have you given much thought to this scripture? Jesus asks us to take His yoke – but why would I exchange one burden for another? We talk about a yoke as if it is a commonplace item,but I’m certain there are people who don’t have any idea what it is.
A yoke can be used on oxen or on people, as illustrated above. It is a tool to allow more weight to be carried, and done properly, we can carry much more with a yoke than in our hands and on our backs. An oxen can pull many times his weight with a yoke. Most of my adult life I spent dragging a tremendous amount of baggage with an ill-fitting yoke, and it weighed me down, exhausted me, and kept me in pain. I’m not talking about physical baggage. This is emotional, physical baggage, and it is what Jesus wants to take away to replace with His yoke. Having that tremendous weight taken away allowed me to breathe, really breathe, for the first time in years. I didn’t understand that all that time, the reason I was in so much pain was because I wouldn’t – couldn’t – let go of the baggage. It was mine, and it was all I had. If I let go of it, what would be left?
There is beauty in letting go! I still hold on to some baggage. It’s a process, a journey. Jesus takes the majority of my burden – as much as I can let go off – and in return, all I have left to carry is His Love, His concern for others, His Light, and His Word to share with others. His burden is LIGHT!! (Yes, it’s a pun, AND it is pure truth!) Let it go, let it go, let it go… whether you are singing Elsa’s song from the movie Frozen, or you are repeating the words from a 12-step group (Let go and let God), what counts is that you are letting go of the baggage and looking to Jesus for His help.
When we let go and let God have our burdens, even the scary, dramatic, drastic ones, then no matter what the enemy throws at us, we can and will overcome because we have God with us; GOD with ME. Amen!
(All scriptures from http://bible.com)