Lighten Your Load
Take my yoke upon you . . . . For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)
We just returned from a family vacation. We had four females and two males in our group. Guess which group brought the most luggage? And guess which two ended up carrying most of it? Over time, my daughters and I have learned to travel light—and my husband and son are grateful. All journeys are more enjoyable when we choose to carry less baggage.
What applies to vacations is also true in the Christian life: the less from our past we drag into our new life, the freer we will be to follow Christ on the journey He has planned for us. When we accept His offer of forgiveness, Jesus invites us to exchange all our weighty “stuff” from our past for His light “load.” He said it plainly in Matthew 11:30: “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
How is Christ’s burden “light” and how do we learn to wear His yoke? A maturing Christian learns that life lived in step with the Spirit (Romans 8:2) is a life of freedom. We no longer are forced to carry the burden of past failures. Instead, we live in the freedom of knowing that Christ daily forgives our sins--takes the burdens from us--and fills us with motivation and desire for obeying God’s commands.
When we hold onto our baggage and try to carry it ourselves, we are constrained, like being bound with chains. The Christian life is not about what we can’t do ourselves, but about what we can do in Christ. We cannot free ourselves of our baggage; Christ came to free us from the past and release us into the future (Galatians 5:1). It’s the difference between dragging an old fashioned steamer trunk behind us or carrying a light canvas bag slung over one shoulder.
What is burdening you now? Let Jesus release you from your baggage. Practice the discipline of releasing whatever you’re carrying to Him the moment you realize you’ve picked it up. There’s nothing you need that He won’t supply.
Heavenly Father, Forgive me for holding on to my baggage from the past. I set it at Jesus’ feet today. Show me how to take His yoke upon me today and everyday. Amen