How Christ’s burden is lighter than your baggage – 52 weeks

Ruthie Gray encouragement 6 Comments

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“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 lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30


How on earth can this be?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Christ’s yoke. 

How can a yoke be easy and a burden be light?

And how is Christ’s burden from that yoke lighter than what we already have?


A yoke is simply a wooden form that fits around the next of two oxen, meant to bind them together for better steerage.  They were used to pull carts, plows, “burdens”, etc. behind them.


I’ve spent a lot of time grieving about my father and his physical hardships.  I wish he could walk upright.  I wish he could talk plainly.  I wish he still resembled the man I grew up knowing as my dad.  I feel sorry for him.  He has limitations.  For the past five years I’ve been trying to adjust to his declining  health.


But last week, I had an epiphany.

As dad buckled his seat belt in my car on the way to another doctor’s appointment, I thought about that easy burden Christ mentioned.

And I determined to accept that burden.

I’m tired, I’m weary, and I’m heavy laden. 

I’m worry-filled, I’m sad, and I’m sick of wanting it fixed.

So I give up.

My burden is heavy.  All of it.  Everything I just mentioned

…is my burden.


     “Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion? 

       Come to me.

      Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

      I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

      Walk with me and work with me –

      Watch how I do it.

      Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

      I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

      Keep company with me and

      You’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG) 


Yes, I’ve already given my heart to Christ.   I’ve been cleansed by His blood.  I walk with the Lord, I’m secure in my relationship with Him.  I’ve been yoked to Christ. 

But it shouldn’t be this hard.


There’s an extension to Christ’s yoke

It’s His burden.  And His burden is light.

It’s called,

Not fighting against what God has allowed and refusing to accept it.


     Learn the unforced rhythm of My grace. Click To Tweet


I’m a music person.  Rhythm is the beat of the song – the tempo.  Sometimes it’s a marching beat.  Sometimes it’s a syncopated beat.  Sometimes it’s a blues beat. 

When I think of an unforced rhythm, I think of an easy tempo.  Like the rhythm of a heartbeat.  Breathing in, breathing out – we never think about breathing.  It’s not forced.  Breath just comes.

And so, God's grace just comes. It's right there. If I accept it. Click To Tweet




The crossroads of acceptance

I have a tendency to pile heavy baggage onto that cart in the back.  That one I’m pulling.  I’m adding stuff to Christ’s burden that shouldn’t be there.

I’m giving up my expectations of what I think life should look like.

I’m giving up my hurt feelings and wishes.

Because in that moment when I watched my father buckle his seat belt, I saw that:

He can still buckle his seat belt.

He can still get in the car.

He can still grow a garden.

He can still walk to the mail box.

He can still take out the trash.

He can still balance a check book.

And he certainly is still living life to the fullest.

He never gives up.

He presses on.


Every gift in this life has a time limit.

If I assume that everything I hold in my hand today is mine to keep, I will be deeply disappointed.  Ultimately, I’ll begin to question God’s character and His intentions toward me – and that can spell big trouble.

If you’ll release your emotional ownership of these things, you’ll respond much more positively when the time comes to release back to Him what He so lovingly and willingly loaned you in the first place. ~Darlene Wilkinson, Secrets of the Vine for Women


He may ask us to let go of something we feel is important to our happiness. Click To Tweet


I want to taste of Christ’s effervescent grace.  I want to learn to live fully and freely.  And not only taste – but lap it up. 

I want to release my tight fisted hands, turn them palm up, and say,

Here is all I have, Lord.  My hands are open, I trust you fully.  Have your way…and…I trust You.


I trust You with my dad.

I trust You with my mom.

I trust You with my kids who are spread across Texas, West Virginia, Tennessee, and soon – Bermuda.

I trust You with my husband who travels weekly.

It’s all You, God.

I trust You. 

Here’s a song I’ve come to appreciate over the summer.  My daughter sings this with her music group, traveling to camps from Ohio to Pennsylvania to Texas and back.  This is not her group (her group is called Heartsong) but I wanted to share this song with you by Hillsong.



    “We’re giving it all away, away

     We’re giving it all to go Your way

     We’re giving it all away, away

     We’re giving it all to go Your way

     In the Father,

     There is freedom

     There is hope,

     In the name that is Jesus

     Lay your life down,

     Give it all now

     We are found,

     In the love of the Savior

     We’ve come alive in You

     Set free to show the truth

     Our lives will never be the same

     We are sold out,

     For Your calling

     Everything that we are,

     For Your glory

     Take our hearts now,

     Have it all now

     Let our lives shine Your light,

     Like the morning

     Roll back the curtains from our eyes

     And now we can see You

     Show us the way, Your truth and life

     We’re caught in Your freedom

     We’re caught in Your freedom”

      Copy write Matthew Philip Crocker, Hillsong Publishing


Not a one-and-done

I know I will be asked to do this more than once.  Because I am human, I will wrestle with this again.

But right now, I’m giving it all away.

I’m exchanging my heavy burden for Christ’s light one.

Wanna join me?


“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 lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30


{Hey girl.  How about joining me each week? Each Monday I have a devotional similar to this one.  Every Thursday is a family/marriage feature.  And Friday is Five Minute Friday where I write anything from humor to inspiration.  The goal is for you to be encouraged in your walk with God and in your rearing (or releasing) of children. You can insert your email address at the top right hand corner (just underneath my picture) and receive these posts each week.
And I promise – no spam!  Only my posts!  C’mon, it’ll be fun!} 


Linking up with:
Holly Barrett

Comments 6

  1. Funny I just left you a reply on my blog about how my dad's optimism encourages me. I feel for you and can imagine how seeing your dad's decline is a burden.

    I really appreciate your post today, especially the part about GIVING UP MY EXPECTATIONS! I never expected to be separated from my husband 3.5 weeks and to close up details before our 9 month furlough ALONE! 🙂 But God's been speaking to me that all of His ways are loving and faithful. I want His way instead of my own. Grace to you as you leave that burden at the cross.

  2. Just a sweet sigh of surrender written all through these words, Ruthie. It's such a beautiful thing to realize that He is able and willing to carry that burden. A tad bit harder to keep handing it over, right?! So glad He willingly carries our cares and takes what we bring Him. #testimonytuesday

  3. Adding to the burden on the cart. Hmmm, sounds familiar! Yes, I've done this. So thankful that His burden is light! Praying for you to continue to see the good in your Dad's situation. It's a hard thing to watch our parents decline…Joining you today from #RaRaLinkup!

  4. Oh Betsy, I didn't realize you were handling all that alone! I'll be praying for you that plans will wrap up smoothly and in a timely manner.
    Yes, I keep reading and re-reading on God's goodness. I need the reminder. 🙂

  5. Thank you for the prayers, Ellen! Yes, it's hard. So very hard. I want my dad back. But that's not what God wills now. But He is good, and He knows best. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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