Anxiety is a relentless, destructive force. Whether it's the continual weight and fear of an anxious soul or the dart-like pangs of panic attacks, worry can be debilitating. It saps our zest for life and damages our relationship with the Lord and those around us.
A recent survey I took showed that 100% of people suffer from worry and anxiety at some point. So, the good news is you are not alone! The bad news is you probably feel alone.
But that's not an abundant life! That's not the life that Jesus wants for us!
Jesus invites us:
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-29
The invitation is clear, but it is only that — an invitation. We must act on his offer and get in the yoke with Christ.
As a matter of definition for you “non-rural” types, a yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is draped around the necks of two animals to pull a cart, wagon or plow. Additionally, one of the animals in the yoke must be dominant over the other to work correctly.
So what happens when we get in the yoke with Christ?
- We have one leader: Jesus Christ.
- We go in one direction: the direction he chooses.
- We have one focus. We never work alone.
- We never walk alone.
- We move forward one step at a time.
- We can do our work knowing that the outcome is always his to control.
- Jesus is always by our side.
Do you sometimes feel an actual tightness in your chest or pressure in your head due to stress? Are you trudging through life, dependent on your ability to cope and manage? Has that worked for you in the past? Is that working now? I imagine that it is not. But there is hope.
I encourage you to find a quiet place to be alone with God. Be brutally honest with him about your anxiety. Be so honest that you surprise yourself. Tell him that you want to be in the yoke with him, and that you can't handle your worries any longer. Confess that your way isn't working. Tell him you are giving him your family, your relationships, your finances, your health, and anything that has happened in the past, is happening now, or could happen in the future. Turn it all over to him. Tell him you are weary and need the rest he has promised.
He is waiting on you. Will you get in the yoke with the King of Kings?