She was a hard-headed ox. A free spirit with her own opinions on where she wanted to go…and it was never where the farmer wanted her to go.
The farmer tried and tried to get her to pull the plow straight, but she preferred to create her own circular designs in the field that were of no use for successful farming. She was a strong ox with a stronger will…too strong for the farmer to control, and she often detoured through the flower beds. But he wanted to keep her and saw tremendous potential…if she could only be trained.
Yoke her, said his neighbor as he leaned over the fence.
What her? the farmer asked.
Yoke her with your best ox and she will learn how to be successful.
So the farmer took his best ox…one that had been around a long time; one that was dependable, patient and equally strong…and tied (yoked) them together. At first, the free-spirit ox pulled and pushed to try and get her own way, but eventually she realized the value in discipline and self-control. By allowing the more experienced ox to guide her, she learned how to plow straight lines and became a valuable worker for the farmer.
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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
JC often used agricultural analogies when he spoke so the crowd could relate to his messages. No one in the first century plowed with a single ox, and many times untrained, inexperienced animals were yoked with more experienced ones so they could learn faster. By yoking oxen together, a team was created; a team that was stronger than that of just one by itself.
His point? Team up with God to be stronger. Team up with Him and, together, life’s load becomes easier to bear. JC invites us to yoke ourselves to him and allow him to guide us. When we yoke ourselves to God’s Word, the stress and trials of this life are less of a burden. By committing ourselves to living in his will, we calm our uncontrollable actions, settle our souls and find purpose in all areas in our lives.
While the burdens and trials don’t disappear when we yoke ourselves to God, if we allow him to guide us, he will steer us in the right direction and teach us how not to plow useless, circular rows in our lives.
Are you plowing circles in your life?
Are detours in your priorities keeping you from being successful?
Can you allow God to guide your life and help shoulder the burdens?