"I Can't Carry It For You, But I Can Carry You!"
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the unique season that we are living in right now and how I believe that through prayer and fasting, we can impact the nations and bring an end to the epidemic that is effecting the entire world. Since that time, over a million people around the world have either been temporarily furloughed from their jobs or lost them entirely. Small businesses have been forced to close and church buildings are being left empty. In an age where few families have placed value on maintaining an ample savings account, the current crisis is beginning to cause a great deal of fear and doubt to families around the world.
As I was praying this week about this situation, the Lord brought me to Matthew 11:28-30 which says “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.” As I reflected on what Jesus was saying, I began to think about what a yoke is and why it is used.
Webster’s dictionary defines it as “a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together”. Basically putting it, when a farmer wanted to break in and train a new ox to plow his land, he would “yoke” the young ox to a more experienced and stronger ox so that it could learn how to pull the plow. When the younger ox would get distracted, the more experienced one would pull it back into the right direction. When the younger ox became weary or tired, the more experienced ox would begin to carry the weight of the load.
When Jesus encouraged the disciples to come to Him and take His yoke upon them, what He was promising them was that He would help carry the weight of their burdens while also showing them how to live a life that brings honor to the Father. In Matthew 6:25-26, Jesus tells His disciples “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
As I continued to pray into this, I was reminded of a scene between Frodo and Sam in the movie “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”. In this scene, Frodo and Sam are exhausted from the long journey and are attempting the climb the volcano to finally do away with the evil ring. Frodo had also grown very weary from the weight of the burden he was carrying, and in this moment, Sam held him in his arms with the hopes of encouraging him. He began speaking about the beautiful and wonderful things of the Shire in hopes that it would give Frodo strength. Unfortunately, it did not help Frodo much as he had become consumed by the evil around him. Sam then gets up and says something very powerful that I believe Jesus is saying to His church today. “Then let us be rid of it… once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you… but I can carry you!” At this moment, Sam picks Frodo up on his shoulders and begins to carry him up the top of the volcano.
Church, I believe that this is a season to let Jesus pick you up and carry you. He cannot take the responsibility of paying your rent and bills from you, but He can pick you up and help you carry the burden. This is what it means to yoke ourselves to Jesus! When we try to solve our problems and plow our fields on our own, we are almost certain to fail and make a big mess! We are almost certain to wear ourselves down to the point that we begin to question our faith and lose our sanity. Church, we must learn to lean into His promises that He will take care of us, that He will help us carry the burdens, and that He will guide us into the right direction.
As I close this blog post, I want to leave you with a promise that God spoke through David in a time when David had seemingly lost everything. Psalm 34:17-18 says “The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” In Psalm 56:8, David says that God keeps our tears in a bottle and holds them close to His heart. Church, let’s not ever forget these promises and let’s not ever forget to take on His yoke. Remember, He is promising rest for those who are weary and that His burden will always be light.