For many years I have enjoyed singing Handel’s Messiah in community choirs. One bit that frequently sticks in my head is the chorus “His yoke is easy and his burden is light.” I love the thrilling melody and the comforting words.
In difficult times I try to remember to take those words to heart and lean on God, but I’m not always successful. Recent stress-related health issues have made me see just what a poor job I’m doing of letting go and letting God.
On my walk this morning I was trying to picture what an easy yoke that lightens the burden might be like.
Obviously, this is a tandem yoke meant to divide the weight of the load being carried. If the two sharing the yoke are of equal stature and strength they will each feel only half the burden.
If the two are unequally matched, then the taller, stronger one will feel more of the weight.
With that in mind, there are only four reasons I can think of to feel stressed by the weight of my burdens and cares.
- I am attempting to carry them alone.
- I am putting myself above or ahead of God
- I am trying to make myself equal to God
- The load is too heavy for God to carry alone
As a Christian, I know better than to try to handle my troubles alone, but I still slip out of that yoke from time to time and need to be pulled back.
Sometimes, I try to take the lead, going ahead of the Lord, sticking my neck out in the wrong direction, only to stumble and fall.
Frequently, I fail to trust God to carry the full burden. So, I hang onto the load with my worry and anxiety, preventing him from taking my share of the weight.
The fourth reason is the worst. It is a complete failure to believe in the omnipotence of God.
His yoke is easy and it makes the burdens light, but only if my faith and trust are strong enough to let him carry me, too.