A yoke is a burden itself, a burden in addition to all the other burdens; and yet it has a peculiar way of making the other burdens easier...We are well acquainted with the yoke of the draft animals. The yoke alone enables them to pull the heavy burden without feeling pain or torment in the process, and without getting sore skin from pulling it."Opeeze, Mama!"
Her dimpled fingers open and close as she stands by my side, and she alternates between patting my leg and pulling on my apron strings.
A helpless glance at the table reveals that the schoolbooks scattered about are still there, the workbook pages remain blank. The sink is full of dirty dishes for the second time today, and an equal number of laundry loads have been run, though they lie in piles on the unmade bed. As a chicken boils in a pot on the stove and the casserole dish lies waiting to be filled, I reach down and grasp Eliana's hand, determined to hold off her request until I finish one more thing.
But now I can't remember what it was.
I turn my back to the dirty, covered counter and slide down the cabinets to the floor, pulling her on to my lap. She tucks her thumb into her mouth and slips into a "huggle" in my arms - our name for a hug and a snuggle. When my to-do list catches my eye from where it flaps over the edge of the table, I chuckle wryly and tip my head back.
"Up, please, Father."
Eliana tips her head back, a smile lighting her tired eyes. "Opeeze!" We rub noses, and settle in deeper for a few moments of respite. It is 9:15 a.m.
Oh, how high my hopes were for this day! Busy, yes, I knew this, but arising earlier than usual and attacking it with a vigor was supposed to be more effective. How quickly the minutes flew by, how vast the list grew, and how effortlessly the plan flew out my window, on the wings of the sparrow, perhaps, who lights daily on the edge of our deck.
I'm supposed to be able to do this - be a Mama - it's all I ever wanted! My older ones are such a help, too, I have no excuses. What is wrong with me? And before I can remind Him that the question is rhetorical, he draws near...
Beloved, it is my yoke. I close my eyes and breathe deep.
"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 28:11-30)If the yoke is easy, why do I resist putting it on first, before my toes even uncurl from the warmth of my bed and reach to the floor? It is the burden that overwhelms me, but it is not noticeable until I've pulled it, alone, for much of the day. It rubs my flesh raw, tormenting me until I cry out, "Up, please!"
Jesus wants to put us...under such a yoke so that our burden does not become too heavy for us. He calls it "my yoke." It is the yoke under which he learned to carry His burden. His burden is a thousand times heavier than all our burdens precisely because He carries all of our burdens.I sigh contentedly and huggle deeper into His chest, the pleasant weight and warmth of my little one reminding me of the joys of this role.-A Testament to Freedom (emphasis mine)
"Up, please," I had whispered. And He did not attempt to accomplish anything more before pulling me into His arms, and slipping the yoke, His yoke, over my head, its pleasant weight reminding me of the joys of sharing in this role of being yoked. With Him.
You are the rest, you are gentle peace, you are the longing and the one who stills it. -Friedrich Ruckert
You are always welcome at my little place - A Path Made Straight