“My Yoke is easy and my burden light”….But Jesus, life is hard, what gives?

It seems like there is a misconception among Christians that life is going to be all peachy following our salvation. Newsflash! It’s not! Challenges are going to come our way, life is still hard, people still hurt other people. We still live in a fallen world and with that we still sin and that makes life hard. People are going to die, people are going to stab you in the back, just about every problem you faced before coming to Christ is going to still exist. However, there is one difference. You have Jesus. This is not some empty thing though. In Mathew 11: 28-30 Jesus tells his disciples:

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

There are two key points here, one there is still a burden, and two, the yoke is a tool the farmers in Jesus day used to guide the ox who plowed the field. I want to give a quick illustration of a way that will relate to a little bit better to most people today who don’t use ox for farming. I think back to a time when I was in Boy Scouts on a backpacking trip with a friend of mine. He had packed only the basic things necessary, but they were on a school backpack he had instead of one with any type of frame and support system, he even had grocery bags hanging off the side of his backpack. Needless to say his backpack may have only been 50lbs, but he couldn’t carry it all. He had tennis shoes tied to the side and his balance was thrown off and so many of the people picked up half of his supplies so he could keep going. His burden wasn’t really that heavy, but he couldn’t carry it all.

On the other hand during the same trip, I knew many people who brought extra meals, extra fishing poles, extra clothes and many other supplies that were closer to luxuries than necessities and with everything packed properly into the framed backpacks people can use for week long trips, they could carry upwards of 150lbs with ease. The key was not in what they brought, but rather how things are packed. Similarly, following Jesus instruction (the yoke) and doing things the way Jesus wants us to will make life easier even though there may be incredibly difficult challenges for us in this life that without Jesus would utterly crush us.

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