Yoked to Jesus
We’re selling our house and moving to be near our son and his family. It’s an exciting time, but also a very stressful one—cleaning out our house—downsizing—making decisions—getting rid of accumulated “stuff’ that was once useful but we don’t need anymore. Sorting through “treasured” items—family heirlooms—memories.
On a recent Sunday morning as I was shaking Pastor Worley’s hand after the service, I mentioned that I was feeling a lot of stress these days and I could tell it was affecting me physically. I went on to express my search to understand in practical, physical ways what it means to be yoked to Jesus as stated in Matthew 11:28-30—to experience the lightening of my burden as the weight of it is transferred to him.
As we all know, speaking with the pastor on the way out from the morning service is not the time for a long conversation. He graciously replied he was sure the Lord would show me. I sensed that too, but I hadn’t expected the “revelation” to come quickly.
However, that afternoon, I was in the kitchen when I heard a crash—the sound of breaking glass—coming from the family room. I knew Keith was in there, and my first words as I rounded the corner were, “I hope that wasn’t the globe on the antique lamp.” And there he stood: holding the broken globe—speechless!
Immediately, my thoughts were that this wouldn’t have happened except that the Lord had allowed it. I couldn’t blame Keith; it was an accident. There was an ‘inner knowing’ that God had a reason for taking this lamp I really, really liked. In fact, I had just a few days earlier looked at it, admiring it, and confirming in my mind, “Yes, I’ll definitely take that when we move.”
But now it was broken—like so many things in my life, I thought—taken from me. Why?
I retreated to my ‘chair’ where I meet with God—my little sanctuary—to think about what had just happened and seek God for an answer. As I was working through releasing my lamp to him, he spoke—as he so often does through strong thoughts that burst into my mind. He was asking me to surrender the lamp to him. In fact, he was asking me to surrender more than the lamp to him; he wanted all my desires. And he wanted more than just my desires—he wanted total surrender of my life to him.
That, he revealed, is the key to being yoked to Jesus—TOTAL SURRENDER.
I responded, “Teach me, Lord. Help me get there.”
A few days later, I was working on sorting things in the dining room when I heard a crash in the basement under me where Keith was cleaning off some shelves. I rushed downstairs saying, “Are you OK?” As I entered the room, he said, “I found your bell collection!” (I had mentioned a few days earlier that I wondered where it was.)
“OK, Lord, I’m getting the message. It’s all yours, every last item in this house.” Just help me know how to responsibly deal with it all—to be a good steward of your things—what we should take, what we should try to sell, what we should give away.
But most of all, show me how to surrender myself to you in a fuller way than I’ve experienced. I know it’s not a one-time thing, but an ongoing, conscious surrender of my life to you as I live it day by day.”
Surrender. Being yoked to Jesus in such a way that he is carrying the weight of my burden—giving me rest for my soul, peace in the midst of the trauma of decision-making, release of harmful stress.
This is what I want. This is what I’m seeking. However, I know I’m incapable of surrendering on my own in this way. This kind of surrender is only possible through his power and enabling grace—the power of his indwelling Holy Spirit—the reality of his resurrection power in my life.
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
Pastor Worley was right. Jesus is showing me how to be yoked to him.