Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Yoke of God

      As my daughter made her way into the house it was apparent that she carried a heavy load in her backpack.  “Lots of homework,” I asked?  “No, not really,” she replied.  “Then why the loaded backpack?”  I didn’t want to go to my locker, she said.”  I shrugged the conversation off,  not realizing that God would speak to me about it all a few days later.


     “Your life is like Hannah’s backpack, Jewel”   “You placed burdens on yourself that I have not given you to carry.”  “The loads you’ve put on yourself are choking out life.” 


      “My burden is easy, my yoke is light.”  “The heavy yoke you feel is not from me.”  “It is self-imposed.”  “Let me teach you the way of My yoke”.


      The children of Israel were given instructions much like these.  They were told to gather a portion of manna for each day.  The instructions were very specific and in accordance with the number in the family.   Some listened, some did not.


     Some feared they would not have enough for the next day so they gathered too much.  They didn’t trust God for their next day’s provision. They discovered what happens when you gather apart from God.  Their excess manna became filled with maggots and began to rot. Things around them began to stink.


     On the day before the Sabbath they were told to gather a double portion. This time the double portion stayed fresh, just as God had promised.  


      It was day to day dependence.   It required trust, not in themselves and what they carried, but in God and His promise to take care of them.


      We put so many yokes on ourselves.  Whether it’s our jobs, mothering,  obligations with God, or financial burdens, we yoke ourselves with things He did never placed on us.  We become weary, heavy laden, unable to rest. Life becomes encumbered with self-imposed loads we insist we are responsible to carry.  


    I can go there easily.  It was a natural place of my old man flesh.  I went there again a few days ago.   I want to do all that I can to give my daughter the wedding of her dreams, but the finances are lacking.  I began to feel the responsibility come up with a way to have enough money.   It was heavy and burdensome.  I could feel the pressure pulling me down.


     Jesus broke through my thoughts, “It’s not your responsibility to provide, Jewel, it’s mine.” "It's not your wedding." “Give it to me, it’s mine.   "I've got it."  “Trust me with it all.”    “I am the provision.”  “You are off the hook.”  “Rest in me.”  “The good news is,  I love weddings.”  


      He reminds me of the widow with the flour and oil.  She had only enough to make cakes that would feed herself and her son their last meal.  Elijah showed up at just the right time looking for food.  The widow followed the Word of God, spoken by Elijah and made a meal.  Each and every day she fed them and as promised the oil and flour never ran out.


      It’s true.  I remember.  David was working 2 jobs and the hours were killing him.  He needed to cut back one of his nights but we needed every penny to survive.  We believed God, we trusted, David cut his hours.  To our amazement we never missed the money.  The money never ran out.


      I burden myself with things He never asks me to take.  I can easily manage my life.  I can think it’s up to me.  LIfe begins to feel weighty and burdensome.  LIfe begins to stink, sometimes I feel the maggots devouring everything around me.  


        “Come unto me, He says.” “It’s not up to you, it’s up to ME.”  “I am your sustenance.”   “There is grace and provision sufficient for the day.”  “If you look to yourself to carry the loads, then I won’t be necessary.” “Life will begin to rot and stink.”   “You will be weighed down.” “Trust me with those things that weigh heavy on you.”  “I’m big enough to carry them.”  “I’m big enough to carry you.”


       It’s all about trust.  It was for the children of Israel, it is for me.  Will I trust Him with the cares of tomorrow?    Will I lay down the self-imposed yokes and wear His yoke alone?  He  invites me to rest in the knowledge that He is the one responsible for my needs.   I can rest, He's got it. As I release my load and trust my God, He places His yoke on me.  It's then I feel His sweet release for His yoke is easy, and His burden light.  

©copyrighted:  2009,  Julie L. Todd

14 comments:

Faye said... Reply to comment

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL POST.I ENJOY YOUR BLOG SO MUCH!HAVE A GREAT DAY! BLESSINGS, FAYE

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

That trust thing gets me every time (eventually, anyway), Julie. I have to keep going back to the cross on that one. Gratefully, He never gives up on me. Beautiful words. And you used one of my favorite verses of all time (Matt 11:28-30).

Tea With Tiffany said... Reply to comment

I loved when you shared this trust story with me on the phone. I still remember the day to day manna. I loved that you heard Him say "I love weddings." Oh how true! He will provide. I can't wait to hear more.

Love you,

Tiffany

Sorry we didn't get to chat this week yet. SOON!

Karen said... Reply to comment

Wonderful words, Julie!

“You placed burdens on yourself that I have not given you to carry.” I have been there many times myself. Praise the Lord for always providing what we need, when we need it...Jehovah Jireh, Amen!

LisaShaw said... Reply to comment

Many powerful nuggets for me to scoop up into my heart and LIVE. I love you dear sister and I pray a blessed weekend for you and your family.

Angela said... Reply to comment

Oh Julie...this was so convicting for me I place so many burdens on myself that He does not ask me to carry and I even did it with a post of mine today in many ways. Thank you for this.

Laura said... Reply to comment

Pain sometimes puts me back in those yokes too, sweet friend.

You have had a rough few months.

Thinking of you.

Love,
Laura

Sharon said... Reply to comment

Yes I sometimes struggle with the trust issue, sad but yes true.
Praise Him my friend!! He is sooo Worthy Amen! It's a good day, because I have Jesus in my life!
Have a Great Resurrection Sunday!

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

This is one of my most favorite posts of yours. It hits so close to home!

It's not always easy to trust, especially when the circumstances seem bleak. But I have found that when I do give into God's voice and trust what He says - that's when I see miracles!

The Lord has many times said to me:
"Amy, I didn't bring you out in the desert to let you die." Every time He says this, I see a miracle follow His words.

It's a lot easier said than done. As many miracles as I've seen - just like the children of Israel - I still have doubt at times.

It's a process, one step at a time, of learning to trust more everyday.

There's a new movie called, "The Cross" that inspired me to follow and TRUST like I never have before!

Love you!
Amy

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Dear Julie, His burden is easy... but Egypt has cruel taskmasters who love to put heavy workloads on our backs...and God wants to take off the slave mentality that we acquired under those taskmasters. They stole our identity, we lost sight of our destiny! And now that we are out of Egypt, the Father is training us to be sons, not slaves!

I love this post, I can truly relate to what you wrote. Sometimes I feel that my official title at home is Problem Solver! It was a self-imposed role, similar to what you shared.

Shanda said... Reply to comment

As always, I am on the other side of your lesson: lots of books, but not much homework. I can see the TRUTH, but still struggling in the rest.

"Trust me with it all."

Even if it is one step at a time. He understands and I'm grateful.

Rest in Him this weekend!

LauraLee Shaw said... Reply to comment

INcredible, INsightful, ANointed. You explained this so clearly and perfectly, I will never forget it. Thank You. From this burden packrat, I am thankful for your admonishment today.

Norse, Jesica, and Boden said... Reply to comment

How often I forget just how strong my God really is. Thank you for the reminder!

Cindy said... Reply to comment

Will I trust?

I pray so!

Love the new hair!

Blessings this Easter!
Cindy