“They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles’ wings;
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.”
“Jesus said to the crowds: ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.'”
This passage from Isaiah was in the back of my mind when I wrote Soaring with God, and from that, chose the name for this blog site. I love the image of soaring, not from my own strength, but from God’s strength – majestic and tireless as an eagle. Those who hope in the LORD (rather than in themselves or in any created thing) find an endless source of strength.
The image Jesus uses in Matthew, that of oxen yoked together to pull a load, may at first glance seem less elegant. Because of that, I think we tend to overlook the image in favor of the Lord’s promise, “I will give you rest.” However, when the Lord promises us rest, He doesn’t mean that He will literally take away the burdens that we carry, but that He will change our perception of them. The Lord is “meek and humble of heart,” so when we willingly choose to be yoked to Him, we learn gentleness and humility; we realize that if we stop fighting our burdens and complaining about them, they automatically become lighter.
The vast majority of the weight of our burdens is self-created due to our focus on personal preferences: ego enhancement, likes/dislikes, attachments/aversions, the quelling of fears. The burdens themselves are relatively light when we simply deal with them in meekness and humility – as the Lord teaches.
Jesus reveals a great paradox: When we trust the Lord, and follow His example, we find strength and rest at the same time.