Anybody else old like me and remember the 1965 Anacin pain reliever commercial shown here? I was a pre-teen when that commercial appeared on the screen of our little black-and-white TV (with the aluminum foil on the rabbit ears) and my mom and I thought it was hilarious. We would joke around and quote it to each other whenever one of us offered to do something for the other. But headache or not, I think most of us are I’d-rather-do-it-myself kind of people. That’s one of the reasons why it’s especially frustrating when serious or chronic illness hits us or those we care about. It’s not really in our nature to admit there’s something weighing us down and we can’t really fix it. How heavy is the load you are carrying these days? Are your arms weary from trying to hold up yourself or your loved one? Is your back breaking from the weight of medical bills piling up? Is your mind exhausted from trying to keep track of all the appointments and medications? Is your spirit feeling let down by the unfairness of life? Jesus has an exchange He’d like to make: your heavy burdens for His light one. Then Jesus said,”Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest, Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Notice He doesn’t promise to just take everything away so that we have no burdens? It’s as if right now we’re plowing through life as a single ox with a heavy yoke on our necks. When we give that big burden to Jesus, He comes alongside us, attaches His double yoke, and plows right with us.
No wonder our burdens are so much lighter and we are so much less weary! You don’t have to carry this heavy load by yourself. Lay down your I-can-do-it-by-myself yoke and allow Jesus to lighten the load as you walk side by side through whatever lies ahead. Please enjoy this “oldie but goodie” song from 1975 by Chuck Girard, whom I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing back in the ’90s when he sang at Houghton College (and yes, I still own and listen to this album!).