Internet Cafe

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Yoke

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.
-A Testament to Freedom (emphasis mine)
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.

"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

Labels: , ,

14 Comments:

Blogger Mindy said...

I feel so blessed every time I read your posts!

October 16, 2007 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Cindee said...

Wow. You always seem to hit me right where I live. Thanks for the very timely reminder.

October 16, 2007 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

You are a blessing.

October 17, 2007 at 4:05 AM  
Anonymous deb said...

Elise ~ thanks for this reminder to go to the Father when our burdens are more than we can bear.

October 17, 2007 at 5:37 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Oh, friend, I can relate....very much so.
I'm looking at it alternately as "taking on His yoke" and "putting my day on His altar". It helps, it helps.

October 17, 2007 at 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was the exact word I needed this morning. Thank you for being the carrier! : ) You inspire me to be a better mommy.

Big hugs today,
Michelle (Military mommy)

October 17, 2007 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Beka said...

Amazing-- God's timing. This morning, feeling quite weary and heavy-laden, I recalled to my mind the verses from Matthew 28, as I prayed. And then I came over here and read this very encouraging post. Thank you, Elise. Once again, you are an instrument of His love, to me.

Love and hugs to you, and prayers!!

October 17, 2007 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

Dear Elise -- you always hit me right at the center of my heart. So often lately, I've seen the dust bunnies multiply and the dishes in the sink while my little one tugs at my clothes with a well worn book in her hand. Oh yes, His yoke is easy -- why do I resist?
Love you!

October 17, 2007 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Kendra said...

Thank you so much for your openness, it feels so good to know that although we're at home, there are others out there whose lives are just like ours. Trying our hardest only to have to sink remain full of dirty dishes!
Thank you for the reminder that we can't do it in our strength, but He is strong enough for the task. It is so good to be His.

October 17, 2007 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

I don't know of anyone who can't relate to the feeling of the yoke...How often we walk with bowed back when He is begging to carry our load for us...

This is beautiful, as always!

Lisa

October 17, 2007 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Quinne said...

Elise, this is lovely and I thank you for sharing your heart. Love to you, Q

October 17, 2007 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Mrs. "M" said...

Just what my heart needed to hear today.

Thanks

October 17, 2007 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Amy Grant Bayliss said...

I needed to read this, every word of it. Thank you Elise.

October 18, 2007 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger lori said...

I catching up this morning...and I needed to hear this at 6:30 on Friday morning...God does this to me ALL the time...uses you ladies to give me what HE is saying!
Thank you...
read it twice..and "Coming to HIM, and taking HIS yoke.."
thank you so much!
I just needed it!
lori

October 19, 2007 at 5:41 AM  

Post a Comment

It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home