I know I am not the first person to unravel this truth. But today, it is NEW to me. The words just don’t seem to come because how do you explain the crazy? How do we explain that the most explosive truths of Jesus are yet the simplest? Who has made them so hard to understand? Is it my culture, lifestyle, paradigms, past, or could it be no one else’s fault but my own??? Whatever may be true of that, let’s just do this together. Jumping is never that scary when you know what you are landing on. And how could landing on the solid rock of Jesus ever not be worth it?
God talks about His “weightiness” and I talk about my “heaviness”.
I have this heaviness about me at times. Some of the “heavy” I choose to attach to myself and my family. Some “heavy” is just because I am alive and chose to get out of bed every morning. But in this heaviness I feel….burdened, tired, weary, burnt out, stiff, numb, mute. Examples of the current “heavy” in my life….the possible forever twice daily meds of my oldest son, the questions my young boys have after seeing the one second glimpse of a commercial where that girl kissed that other girl, the hesitant face my youngest gave when he actually had the invite to bring his bible to school, that friend I disappointed, the bill still sitting on my counter awaiting the arrival of that check before it can be mailed, the cousin who is going to another medical specialist, that patient who was sent to the hospital because they couldn’t control her seizures at home, my husband out of town for work again this week, the police parked in front of my neighbor’s house, the wreck that happened and the lawsuit that followed, the “no” I shouted in frustration to my kids when they asked to download that app for school so that they could be like the other kids… This list goes on. It will always go on. Fill in the blanks for your life today. Life is just life. These are the things that happen and will always be waiting for me to stuff in the ever growing backpack that I drunkenly carry throughout the day. The days where seasons don’t even seem to show change. Their heaviness does not change and I am not made stronger by carrying the load.
God has this weightiness about Him. The literal meaning of the word “glory” is “weight, majesty, and significance”. It comes from the Hebrew word “kabowd”. We see this word used all throughout the Old Testament. In Exodus 40:34 when Moses is describing the cloud covering of the tabernacle of meeting. In Psalms 3:3 when David says to the Lord that He is “a shield for me, my glory and the lifter of my head.” In Isaiah 42:8 when Isaiah speaks of God’s word that He will not share His glory with another.
It is not a numbing, inhibiting, or burdensome weight. It is the all-encompassing, all consuming, all saturating tangible presence of our one true God. It defines His very importance and significance. This presence is constantly being revealed through all of His creation (Psalms 19:1-4). It is this glory that the Bible is ultimately about. It is this glory that defines our very purpose, for we were created to bring Him this glory (Isaiah 43:7). It does not sound like something He would hide from me if that is what I was created to do.
When I think about my “heaviness” I always seem to think about Matthew 11. Verses 28-30 say “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, 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.”
It sounds so pleasant at first. “Come to me…” How He beckons for relationship and promises that unattainable rest that I cannot seem to give myself. And then He starts talking about yokes and burdens and I begin to tune it out. I do that to Him sometimes.
But in my exasperated cry that He would tell me how “yokes are easy and burdens are light”, I did not hear a response. So I did what every self-respecting seminary wife would do and grabbed my husband’s Strongs Concordance. I looked up the words burden and yoke.
Burden= phortíon – a burden which must be carried by the individual. (How is this helpful Jesus? Insert sigh...)
But then things began to change.
Yoke= zygos=a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull together to act as one.
Excuse me…SAY WHAT!?!?!
Lets go back to Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, 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.”
We have burdens. We are heavy. We were never created to carry it alone. THAT IS WHY JESUS CAME! You see, Jesus knows what is like to be human. He was one. He knows what burden on earth is. And in that knowledge, that burden remains, but He is crying out “COME TO ME” so that we might learn from Him and choose to strap on that yoke that will attach ourselves (our burdens, weariness, dullness) to HIS VERY SELF and walk as one WITH HIM through this life until that day. And when you walk side by side with someone, you begin to know them. And we, like Paul, can say “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…” (Philippians 3:10)!
That is why His “yoke is easy and His burden is light”! Because when we yoke ourselves with Jesus, we justify all that He did for us on the cross. He takes it all for us, for He already took it all on that cross. And in that position can we ONLY experience the true freedom of the cross.
But there is more… for oxen are never yoked without purpose, without being attached to a cart or plow. As soon as we come and attach ourselves to Jesus through His yoke, we then get to be attached to God. And not just the knowledge of Him, but His very presence…His weight….His GLORY! (Read Hebrews 6:19, 2Corinthians 3:7-18)
Oh God, THANK YOU that your presence is not partial. It is not given in sections, but is the whole of who You are. You created me for your glory. To take on that freeing weight, and not the heaviness of the world. Thank you for Jesus, for the crazy of the cross. And as I choose to come to you, I choose to take up Your yoke and attach myself with You so that we can walk together as one. Thank you that you did not create me to walk alone, but with Jesus! God let the weight of Your glory come as I give Jesus my back pack. My heaviness for Your weightiness. My worship for Your glory!