Finding Rest in the Yoke of Christ

Originally published Tuesday, 02 October 2018.

rest, peace, burdens, control, people pleasing, trust, anxiety, worry, fear

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, HCSB).

For a majority of my life, I was what many would call a “control freak.” It overwhelmed so much of my life that I even tried to control how people related to me, which meant I tried my best to be a people-pleaser. It’s extremely difficult to cultivate authentic and genuine relationships when you are constantly adapting and hiding your true self just to keep others happy and keep the peace. 

You can imagine why this would cause anxiety within your soul because you are simply not living honestly- with yourself, with others, or with God. For me, it was just a matter of time before that lifestyle became such a heavy burden upon my shoulders that I could no longer carry. The weight became too much for me that I lived in a constant state of worry and panic.

But one day, Jesus’ words in Matthew 11 beckoned me to come to Him and give Him all of the heaviness I was trying to carry on my own.

I must admit, when I first read His words to “take up [His] yoke” to find rest, I was hesitant. How would taking upon a yoke around my neck bring me rest? I pictured an ox plowing a field with a wooden yoke around its head, and the image didn’t bring about thoughts of peace and rest, but more exhaustion. I saw a yoke as bondage.

But that is the beauty of Jesus’ words and the beauty of the Kingdom of God that operates differently than the world’s system. Where I initially saw bondage by surrendering my control, God was revealing to me that His yoke is actually a tool He uses to help us move forward in the destiny that He has for our lives.When we yoke ourselves together with Jesus, He carries the load upon His shoulders and His peace and rest comes into our lives.CLICK TO TWEETHis grace carries us while we walk along side of Him, connected to Him, trusting His ways over our own.

Over time, God has taught me to run to Him first and trust Him with every single detail of my life, including my relationships. When the cares of this life try to overwhelm me and bring stress and anxiety, instead of taking matters into my own hands, I must remember to come to Him every day for rest and peace. Thankfully, His peace surpasses all understanding and is unlike anything else this world can offer us.

Father, show me areas of my life that I have been trying to control- areas that are bringing unnecessary burdens that You do not intend for me to carry. Lord, I run into Your arms and gladly take upon Your yoke, knowing that You alone bring me the rest that my soul needs.