How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. - Psalm 13
I am sure that David’s words echo a lot of how our nation might be feeling at this rollercoaster like, peculiar-out-of-our-control time. It is easy to let out minds think that we need to muster up our own strength to soldier on. We end up leaning on our own wisdom to have the right things to say to people. We concentrate really hard on staying upbeat, when what we really need is rest and comfort. Maybe you are shattered from trying to keep ‘normal’ life going for your family, when it is anything but normal. Maybe it is lonely and it feels like it is all on us to maintain connections and that is exhausting.
I heard a talk given by a legend of a teenager about absolute truth, he said this phrase that has stuck with me ever since – absolute truth is something that is true for all times, all people and in all situations. I was reminded of Jesus’ words from the Gospel of Matthew, “I will always be with you, till the very end of the age”(Matthew 28) and “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.” (Matthew 11). True at all times, for all people and in all situations.
Let’s just explore this idea of being yoked. This was a farming term that described a long piece of wood which is tied across the necks of two animals such as oxen, in order to make them walk close together when they are pulling a plough (Collins dictionary). The yoke would enable them to share the burden. Two oxen can pull more than double what one can.
Jesus encourages us to take his yoke upon us as His yoke is easy and his burden is light. But what does that mean for now?
We should give our burden to Jesus and remember to be yoked to him, as together with Jesus we will carry way beyond our own capacity.
NHS workers and other key workers, parents, and each one of us in different ways are being stretched beyond our capacity right now. My prayer is that we would not carry these burdens alone, but it would continue to be shared, whether professional or personal. Be yoked to Jesus and let him give you rest for your souls. Do not miss the opportunity of gained time: spend it with Jesus, read/listen to his word, pray, worship, dwell in his presence, start a new routine that begins and ends with gratitude. Spend time with Jesus and recover your life. Let Him show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Him and learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with Jesus and He will teach you how to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11).
And remember He is with you till the very end of the age. Amen