Monday, November 27, 2006

Take my yoke

I can't tell you how many times I've said this verse--gritting my teeth, through tears, in anxiety, pleading...

"Come to me, all 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 humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." ~ Matthew 11:28-30

And I always wondered, what is this "yoke", what is it exactly that will give me the rest for my soul?

I knew it had to do something with learning from Jesus, because that's what you had to do as you took the yoke on. I knew the yoke was easy, and it was light. Other than that, it was simply a mental picture where I was laboring, and heavy laden, and my soul was unrestful; and then, putting this yoke upon me put a spring in my step, because it was Jesus' burden and it was light, not so heavy as mine.

But I think there is more to it than that.

I know I'm not the only mother out there who gets tired of the same chores, same situations--over and over, day in, day out. This is part of what makes motherhood tiring--the monotony, the endless goings that repeat themselves like I'm in the movie Groundhog Day. Honestly, sometimes I get so tired of doing the same work at the same time, and it never stops. When you've got an emotional problem thrown in there to ruminate on, and lack of sleep, the combination of all of those things can make a mother feel very burdened.

So, it's no surprise that I cling to the above verse often.

But, like I said, I ponder what it means to take on His yoke. I don't think He will make my work burden easier. That's not His style. I think it means much more different things.

I came across a delightful book. It's called Parables of a Country Parson, and it's by William E. Barton. Written in the early 1900's, it is a "blog of earlier times". Small stories and observations in this man's daily life, and how they relate to his Christian walk. If you can get over the "thee's and thou's" (which I quite like) and the capitalization--A.A. Milne style--the stories will make you smile...and think.

I want to share this one with you because it's been making me do just that: smile and think. And it answers my own question of how Jesus would have us take His burden. I know it's long, but grab a cup of coffee; sip, and enjoy.

Concerning Rest

There was a day when I was weary. For my days had been full of cares, and my nights had been broken. And I spake unto Keturah [his wife] saying,

I would fain Lay me down upon my Couch and rest. Trouble me not for the Space of One Hour.

So I laid me down.

And I heard the Patter of Little Feet, and there were Little Hands pushing at my door. And there came unto me the daughter of the daughter of Keturah.

And she said, Grandpa, I want to lie down with you.

And I said, Come, and we will rest together. Close thine eyes Tightly and be Very Still. So shall we rest both of us.

And the way she rested was this. She crept under the Blanket that covered me, so that her head and all the rest of her were Covered, and she said, Grandpa, you have losed your little girl.

Then did I seek my little girl whom I had losed, and I said, Where is my little girl? Where is my little girl? And I felt all over the Blanket, and I found her not.

Then she did cry, Here I am.

And she threw off the blanket, and laughed.

And she hid from me the Second Time, and the Third Time, and Many Times beside. And every time I found her again, hiding under the Blanket.

And when this had wearied her, she Sat Astride me, so that One Foot was on the Right Side and one was on the Left, and she held me by the thumbs, and her little hands could not quite reach around my two thumbs. And she cocked back so that her head touched the couch between my knees, and she sat up with a Bump upon my Stomach. And she rode me to Banbury Cross and to many other places.

And she said, You are having a good time with me, aren't you, Grandpa?

And I told her it was true.

Now at the end of One Hour, I came forth leading the little damsel by the hand, and Keturah said, Thou art rested, I behold that thy weariness is gone.

And it was even so. For the joy of playing with the little damsel had driven away my care, and I was rested.

Now I thought of this, and I remembered that my Lord had said, Come unto me, ye weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. And I remembered that He said that in resting I should bear a yoke and find it easy, and carry a burden and find it light. And, behold, I knew what He meant. ~


Anonymous said...

Oh. This made me cry. I must find that book!
You are a dear to find this passage for us and share it - it makes this Monday seem bearable - nay, not just bearable, behold, it is wonderful! (whoops - I got carried away with the old English)

Rachel Anne said...

I stumbled across your blog today and truly enjoyed this delightful passage. Thanks for sharing.

bluemountainmama said...

wonderful and thought-provoking post, andrea. i have it a little easier with just one child- i can't imagine four. but even with one, the monotony can be intense, especially since he doesn't have a sibling to play with- so he relies on me for all his play and entertainment. so a good reminder to cherish these times and not just go through the motions.

Miriam said...

So sweet and beautiful. I grabbed my babe and nursed her as I read (instead of the coffee). :)

pauline said...

Oh how perfectly perfect!