Recently I bought a used hot tub. Now, my husband may never get in it (something about other people’s bodily funk having been in it before…),, but nevertheless, it’s here. Getting it here was an experience. It came from out of town and I had to arrange the transportation. Naturally, I hired the cheapest company around to move it so I went to “supervise” the process. Originally I thought we could do it ourselves, but soon realized we didn’t have the right equipment or nearly enough friends to take with us to load a 2,000 pound hot tub (no one loves us THAT much!). I figured they would send a few burley men who would pick it up like it weighed 50lbs and off we’d go. They sent 2 guys. One really big and not so thin guy and one pretty short guy with an eye patch. Perfect. I was just a tiny bit skeptical and nervous. What happened next amazed me. The big guy mentioned, when I commented that maybe they should have brought more help, that he usually moves the hot tubs by himself. Whaaaat? He instructed the little guy to help him put the hot tub on it’s side. Then they stuck a plastic sled-type contraption underneath it and drug it to the curb, and hoisted it onto the truck. All of this took about 5 minutes. When they got it home they did the same thing, except this time they had to drag it AAAALLLLL the way around my house to the back yard. The big guy pulled the sled and the little guy sort of pretended to be of help by pushing from behind. Again, in about 5 minutes it was perfectly in place on the deck.
I thought of this experience as I was reading this morning. A couple verses were emphasized. One was that weird verse about the “yoke”. (“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me”-Jesus). Maybe you have been afraid to admit that you don’t really understand what in the blue-blazes that means. What the heck is a “yoke”? Let me help you (and me) get some clarification. We might know that it is something that animals put across their necks to they can pull heavy things (i.e. Hot tubs and such). But how does that relate to my friendship with God? The verb form is actually a more helpful way for me to understand what Jesus was trying to say. It says “to cause (two people or things) to be joined in a close relationship.” Ahh. Now we are getting somewhere. But it doesn’t just stop there. We are joined with God as we are “yoked” with him. Because “His burden is light and his yoke is easy.” Why is it easy? Because HE is doing most of the heavy lifting. He is the big strong guy pulling the hot tub sled. I am the little guy with one eye pushing and pretending to be of assistance. He doesn’t really NEED my help. He wants it because He loves me (God, not the hot tub guy…). How much of my life have I spent trying to pull the hot tub and asking GOD to please get behind me and push? “Help me do this. Help me do that. Help me help me help ME.” How about if we viewed it like we are helping God? He has already done it or is working on it. We are there for companionship and friendship and really just to assist Him in what He is already doing.
“Roll they burden upon the Lord. You have been BEARING IT ALL; deliberately put one end on the shoulders of God. Commit all to God. Don’t fling it off, but put it over on to Him and YOURSELF WITH IT, and the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship.” (Chambers) If you can put your burden on the Lord, like they put the hot tub on one end, your load will be lightened. Your burden bettered. You don’t really need a team of people to move your hot tub if you do it right. And ultimately, we need to make our load lighter is to yoke ourselves with an all-powerful God who can pull the sled by himself but graciously, because He loves us and wants our companionship, let’s us Help.