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 ever wondered what it’s like to be led around by a guide dog? It’s quite an interesting and challenging experience. Of course, the first step in the process of learning about a new guide dog is walking with your new friend for the first time.
When I first walked with my new dog, I gripped the U-shaped harness handle with terror. I held out my arm as straight and stiff as a board. My instructor talked to me later and helped me to relax, but I couldn’t help thinking about how those first few moments with a new dog paralleled our Christian walk.
What comes to your mind when you think about God’s power? Most of us think of someone being healed, or delivered from a terrible plight. That is where the major problem lies. We often confuse power with sensationalism.
Instead of anything earth-shaking, Jesus teaches us about the gentle power of submission in the above verse. Since most of us aren’t familiar with the concept of yoking animals (you probably don’t have a team of oxen in the garage, after all), I’ll try to explain by using the above example.
The working of the yoke is similar to my guide dog’s harness. If we are going to have a productive walk with Christ, He says we need to team up with Him. The U-shaped harness handle I referred to above allows the dog to guide my wife and I safely around obstacles. In the same way, Christ wants to guide you around the obstacles you face. I am not suggesting that once you become a Christian, you will have no more problems. Far from it. Just as my dog brings us peace and freedom, Christ wants to do the same by walking beside you.
But just as we must team up with the dog to enjoy this freedom, we also must team up with Christ and submit to His yoke. Once I have my dog’s harness secured, I can learn to read his guiding signals. It is the same way in our Christian lives. Once we have Jesus’ yoke on our spiritual shoulders, we can learn from and about Him through prayer and Bible study.
Do you feel like you’re running into obstacles today? Maybe you’re not spending time with God, or studying His word. If you don’t know Him, I encourage you to team up with Him today by asking Him to forgive your sin, and come into your life. If you do know Him, please don’t fight His guidance.
Just as my dog’s guidance brings meaning to life, Christ wants to do the same for you. So why not spend some time learning about Him today, and go amazing places tomorrow?
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.