This is probably one of my favorite Bible verses, a verse I repeat to myself nearly every day. I just love the way Peter writes this, reminding us that God cares for us and that He asks us to cast (to place) our cares (our worries, our fears, our anxieties) upon Him. What a wonderful promise to us, simply to know that no matter what we are facing today or tomorrow, God cares about us and knows exactly what we are facing. He is ready, Dear Sister or Brother, to take your cares upon His Mighty Shoulders and bear your burden. Take the time now to cast whatever care is weighing you down upon the loving back of our Almighty and Merciful Savior.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. ~Matthew 11:29
Jesus, our most Merciful God, is offering His yoke, His hand to us, to help us as we walk through this troubled and oft difficult time. His yoke is easy for us to wear, not burdensome or heavy. His ways are gentle and mild, they are manifested in such a way to give rest to our weary souls. Why do we resist His yoke? Why do we not take the hand of the One who offers rest to our souls?
I don't know, except for what the Word of God tells us: there is no one who does good. The Word tells us that we have all fallen short of the glory of God, that we have all sinned and gone astray (our own way). In short, we do not want to take any yoke upon us, and especially not the yoke of a Savior. We would rather continue to bear the heavy burden and the yoke of slavery, instead of the one that would lead us to liberty and freedom. Our yoke, the yoke that we are born into is a yoke of slavery to sin and death. Romans 6:23 tells us "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Our chosen way, our chosen path leads to death; but God's free gift, His free way out (His yoke) leads to eternal life through Jesus Christ.
I have experienced this yoke of slavery. I have experienced what it feels like to be worn down, feeling so helpless and overwhelmed. I know how hard it is to try and keep your head above the water, and not drown in your own sorrow and misery. I have been there, done that one many a time. But, the day I took His yoke upon me, was the day I found true freedom and liberty. It has been a long process of learning how to walk along side of the Lord. When you take His yoke, you agree to walk with Him (as two cows or oxen walk together -- yoked at the neck). The yoke is a training tool, not an item of prison or penalty. Oxen were yoked together so that the younger, untrained animal would learn how to work the land along side the mature and experienced animal. The young oxen would learn how to do it's work, it's job, and would not struggle to run loose and into it's own way. So it is with us when we choose to be yoked together with the Lord. He is the Master who trains us how to live a life of humble submission, how to walk with Him, to learn from Him, and how to ultimately do work for His name. If we can humble ourselves and take His yoke, we will learn how to be like Him.
Unfortunately, many believers in Christ simply will not do that. They will accept the gift God has given to them -- namely eternal life -- but they will not choose to take His yoke on them. They want "their cake and eat it too" so to speak. They want to be freed from the penalty of sin (which is death), but they do not want to be saved into eternal glory. Rather, they want to still be able to tread upon the dainties of sinful life (to choose really, to dance about it, to dip their toe back into that cesspool -- should they ever choose to do so again). It is quite a sad state of affairs when a child of God chooses to accept the hand of the Savior, but reject the way He chooses to train them up. You cannot have it both ways. Jesus said it this way:
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." ~Matthew 6:24
You simply cannot serve God and man (yourself or some other person). It is impossible to be loyal to two different, opposing forces. It is a natural law, a law seen throughout nature and creation. Polar opposites do not attract; they repel one another. It is exactly the same way with us, for we will either serve God or we will choose to serve another master. Which master will it be? If you take His yoke on you, then you will have chosen to serve God. If you choose to keep the yoke of slavery, then you will have chosen to serve the master of this world or Satan. It is quite a simple thing when you really think about it.
Cast your cares on God today. Choose to serve Him, and take His gentle and mild yoke on you. Learn from Him and He will instruct you so that you can live out this life here on earth, AND be prepared to spend eternity with Him in His Glory.