Jesus' Yoke: A Wilderness Ministry Devotional
"Jesus offers us the opportunity and the invitation to come to Him if we are weary and carrying heavy burdens. His yoke fits well (or “tight”). We can learn from Him since He is humble in heart. He promises that with Him, we will find rest for our souls.
"A group of five of us went backpacking in Eastern Washington over Labor Day weekend last year. We were carrying heavy backpacks that were not gentle to our backs, and did not always fit perfectly. They were unlike the wooden yokes that may have been made by Jesus, a Middle Eastern carpenter. Those yokes would have fit the oxen for which He made them well. We had to adjust to ours. We adjusted to our packs—and learned to grow into Jesus’ yoke by learning humility—getting our eyes off of ourselves and onto something bigger than ourselves: God’s creation. We learned the values of patience, endurance, and…tents.
"We also rested. Another Biblical word for rest is shalom, or peace. It is being at rest with ourselves, others, God, and all of His creation. Our “rest” on our trip consisted of long hikes, exertion, setting up camp, making dinner, and spending time with each other. We were able to get away from our normal work of deadlines, reports, and evaluations, and were able to enjoy the outdoors. Perhaps we traded one set of burdens for another, but perhaps that is what made it enjoyable."
— Bob Boeshaar, Summer 2011