Life can sneak up on us and we don't realize that we are carrying a burden that is far heavier than we are intended to carry. Matthew 11:29-30 says, 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.
The thing about a yoke (that wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and keeps them working together) is that it doesn't take the burden away completely, but it makes it lighter to carry because the weight is shared. We get weighed down by other's expectations, our fears and past mistakes, but with Jesus' yoke, the wight shifts and he carries most of it. We may still be surrounded by the things that weighed us down in the first place, we may still hear the haughty and demeaning voices of the world, but we can shift the weight and understand who we are because of who God is. We're already loved and lovable. Understand this changes the way we parent, how we treat ourselves and how we respond to other. Believing it lets us walk in freedom.
Listening to love and trading our heavy burden for Jesus' light one requires some work on our part. It's not about earning love, because God's love isn't based on what we do. Nothing we do can make him love us more or less. It's about learning more about Jesus, taking time to monitor the voices we allow to speak into our lives, and doing the work to free ourselves from old patters of thinking or habits that hold us captive.
We have to turn down the voices that lie about how God feels about us and work to hear the truth. We are God's beloved children. Children who don't have to earn or hustle for our worth. Children who just need to shift the weight and find rest. Stop settling for what simply gets us by and do the word to get to what's best. Take his yoke and learn for him; allow his love to change the way we feel and talk about ourselves; take the chance to share this truth with someone else.
Turn down the noise of the wold, listen to truth and let your voice speak love.