A Yoke of a Different Color

   Several days ago, I wrote in my journal, “I’m not worried, I’m just weary”.   As I re-read that today, I realize how true it is.  I’m tired of this Rona and all the press she seems to garner.  We’ve all been weary at some point in this marathon. 
      There was a kids musical in the 80’s called “Down by the Creekbank” There was a character in the play who sat by the bank, chewing a reed of grass for the entire production.  He had one line, delivered flawlessly every time.  “Makes me tired just thinking about it”.  Yesterday I let out an audible sigh when the newscaster spewed the latest numbers.   
    I certainly hope and pray that we do not have to deal with Coronavirus our entire lives. But, it’s here now and doesn’t show signs of going away.  No matter how tired, weary, fed up we are with Queen Rona, we have to put up with her.
   The Bible has multiple stories of people who were weary in the wait.  The children of Israel making bricks in Egypt for 400 years.  Then wondering through the desert for 40 years.  Noah took over 3 years to build the ark and then lived on it for over a year.  David waited almost 20 years to be King after he was anointed to be King. Israel waited what seemed like forever for their Messiah and then didn’t recognize him.
    The day to day of living this quarantine, the panic and the fear all around me has worn me out.  I was happy today to turn to the book of Matthew and hear Jesus say, “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.”  CEV Matthew 11:28-30  
   It’s a familiar scripture, but again, a deeper study reveals the heart of the One who said it.  Ellicott says that the original wording, all who “labor and are heavy laden” are words broad enough to cover every human sin and sorrow.  Imagine!   He explains that the ‘yoke’ Jesus spoke of was the traditions and laws of the Old Testament.  Jesus came to fulfill the law and be the final blood sacrifice.  He explains that if they “learn of Him”  what He requires will be bearable.  The Greek translations say “easy” is really “good, kind, helpful and profitable.”  What He wants us to live through is bearable and profitable for us.  Hard to believe today but He and I do have a history of this happening.  
   As we’ve learned, when Jesus makes an offer, there’s a caveat.  In the middle of these verses, Jesus says, “come to me. . . take the yoke…. learn from me. . .”    Ever the gentleman, He never forces,  even the good things,  on unwilling humans.

Get out of her Queen Rona,  I’m thinkin’ about switching yokes today!  

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