“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.” -Matthew 11:29

A yoke is a wooden cross piece that connects two animals, usually oxen, to plow a field. These two oxen are typically paired up to work: one does heavy lifting and the other learns. When Jesus calls us to take His yoke upon us, He calls us to do His work; however, He does the heavy lifting while we learn and grow.

When we work solely from our own strength, we burn out quite easily from overextending ourselves. But, when we work with Jesus’s strength, we do everything we can to the best of our God-given abilities, and when we fail, Jesus picks us up and does the rest. We rest in Him by bringing our burdens to Him and allowing Him to do the heavy lifting.

Jesus’s promise in Matthew 11:29 does not mean we never have to work hard. Rather, He says we work to our greatest capacities once we take Jesus’s yoke, and we rely on His strength. We can rest knowing God’s strength is present and will protect us.

For me, as a first-year in college, it is easy to be overwhelmed. All my teachers expect perfection, and all my classmates are inventing, publishing or creating. Sometimes, I feel too weak to continue on my own. I always come back to this verse in these times to remind myself that it’s okay to feel not strong enough because putting my trust in Jesus’s strength will carry me through. I can rest in Jesus’s power and gentleness.

God, You are so incredibly powerful and humble. We realize that we’ve been trying to do too much on our own. Please help us join Your yoke so we can put our strength in You. With You, we can do anything. Thank you for always being here for us and for Your gentle and humble spirit. Amen.

Passage for Further Reading:

Isaiah 40: 27-31

About the Author:

Collin Roberts is a freshman at Yale University studying economics and math. He is from Tallahassee, FL where he lives with his four siblings and three dogs.


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