Have you ever gotten stuck on someone’s choice of words and therefore missed the entire point of what they were saying?
It’s happens to me most frequently with the word “fine”.
I’ll be nervous about going to an event and tentatively ask my husband what he thinks of my outfit. He responds with, “It’s fine.”
He is thinking, Yep, that fits the bill perfectly. Let’s go!
I am thinking, What does fine mean? It’ll do, but it could be better? It’s not the best I’ve seen you look, but it’s not the worst?
Last week’s memory verse was from Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)
Because I was too lazy to memorize the entire paragraph in one sitting (remember, we’re giving everyone a 5), this week we’re carrying on with the next verse.
“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 11:29 (NIV)
I’ve been hearing this verse my entire life but I never understood it. I never took the time to understand it because I consistently got caught on one word that didn’t jive with my beliefs about God.
Can you guess which word?
If God is a good God who wants to help us, which I believe He is, why would He want to send us out into the field to work when we both just agreed in the previous verse that I am 1) weary and 2) burdened? I came to rest, not to be put in a yoke. Why did we switch gears here, God?
A year or two ago, I learned a little more about what a yoke actually is. I had been picturing a heavy metal device that fits onto one poor lonely animal at a time.
My friend, Google dictionary, set the record straight: “A yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.”
Two animals. Two.
Once we’ve rested at His feet a bit, God doesn’t send us back out into the field (or our chaotic lives) by ourselves. No. He’s asking us to pair up with Him, so side-by-side we can learn from Him and do the difficult things together.
Suddenly, “yoke” becomes a beautiful word.
Just like when my husband gives a wink and says in a sassy, flirtatious voice, “Honey, you look fine!”
All of a sudden the word “fine” takes on a whole new meaning.
Being yoked with God is an incredible opportunity. It means that we, the weaker and inexperienced ones, get to walk alongside the best possible teacher ever.
I don’t know about you, but I love that, because based on the way I jump to conclusions with simple words like “fine” and “yoke,” I still have an awful lot left to learn.