The Pace of Peace

October 8, 2020

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

Whew. How long has 2020 been anyway? With all the details of the emotional roller coaster we have been riding; the ever-moving targets in health, safety, schooling the children, etc., there’s one big word that describes most of us: TIRED. I am tired. My family is tired. My peers are tired. Some days I’m more exhausted than others, but frankly, I’m mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually wiped out on some days.  

Fortunately, on those days I have a Savior who speaks to me and calls me to refuge and refreshment in Him. The illustration Jesus used was very familiar to His listeners. Farmers would take an inexperienced ox and pair him with an older, well-trained ox, and they would be “yoked” together to pull the plow side by side. The older, experienced ox set the pace for the younger one, keeping him on track, enabling him to get the work done properly. The older ox would do the heavy lifting until the younger ox figured out how to plow beside him. The young ox would in this way become experienced, not going off course or wearing himself out before the work was finished. It was the way he learned to fulfill his purpose without burning out.  

Jesus invites us to team up with Him, to be the younger ox. He wants to work with us, set the pace, and keep us on track. He wants to work with us so closely that He does the heavy lifting while we are learning from Him. This is the way He enables us to do effective ministry to others in our own challenging times. When we are overburdened or burned out, it’s probable that we have taken the lead away from Jesus. We are carrying burdens Jesus is willing to take on for us.  

When I feel like I can’t take another step, I need to remember that Jesus’ yoke is easy and light. I need to let Him lead and carry my burdens. He will help me learn to care for my soul as I serve others as well. He will teach me the pace of peace.  

  • Pray: Lord, You know how hard this season has been and continues to be. I know I am wearing myself out by trying to accomplish too much, by assuming responsibility for things I can’t control, and worrying needlessly. I want to be yoked with You and let You set the pace. Please nudge me every time I start to take the lead, and keep me on the pace of peace. Thank You. Amen.