The older I get, the less I hear voices. It could be the ringing in my ears or too many years of enjoying loud music, but truth be known, I’m getting somewhat hard of hearing. It doesn’t bother me all the time – if the sounds are isolated and no background noise, I can hear fine, but add the buzzing of a fan or the roar of highway traffic and I’m reduced to asking for a repeat of the conversation. Yet, I have NO trouble hearing from God. He actually speaks louder and clearer than ever before and I am so thankful for His voice of direction and guidance. Perhaps it’s because I WANT to hear His voice!
God speaks to me in the strangest places and through the most unusual objects. A recent trip to Heritage Days (a throwback to pioneer days) found me staring at a large wooden yoke propped up on a chair beside two massive bovine. Their breed specializes in pulling large loads and the yoke pairs them together to pull even more efficiently. Though they stood beside a stall grazing, I could easily picture them pulling a wagon across the prairies of Kansas or up the steep grades of Colorado. They would also pull old fashioned plows through hard and crusty ground in preparation for seed that would flourish once the spring rains came. Yes, the wooden yoke spoke to me. It reminded me of the words of Jesus in Matthew.
“Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened down and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me because I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30-HCSB) Often I have run to my Savior when plumb worn out by the burdens I attempted to carry on my own. I have no trouble picturing the Savior yoking Himself with me as I pull the weight resting on my shoulders of responsibilities.
Examples of Old Testament followers of God are plentiful. Job carried heavy burdens as did Noah. Moses nearly collapsed under the weight of caring for the Hebrew people. They turned to the God Jehovah to aid them. Today, I think of my friend who struggles as she cares for her husband dying with cancer. Another friend tries desperately to save a marriage that teeters near the edge of divorce. Runaway teenagers, sick children, and jobs that push to the limit, all these situations weigh heavy upon us. Jesus holds His arms open wide wanting to bring us rest and peace in the middle of our struggles.
If you find yourself in a peaceful valley of tranquility today, won’t you seek someone out who struggles to find their way? You can be the hands of Jesus as you shoulder a portion of their load. You can be the feet of Jesus as you walk beside a friend who needs some encouragement. Whether for yourself or a friend take Jesus at His word and find His rest.