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
Back in December of 2021, I went through a particularly chaotic season. I was on constant book deadline and found myself exhausted after directing a play at a local theater. My body seemed to be in a state of rebellion. I had multiple ear infections in a row and couldn’t seem to shake them.
Then, when the Christmas season hit, I took on way too many baking projects: party treats, Christmas cookie trays, gifts for friends, items for my blog, and so on. All good stuff, but. . .
Too much. The long hours on my feet really got to me and the lack of sleep (between the book deadlines and baking) wore me down.
The Struggle is Real!
I somehow survived, but hit the proverbial brick wall. The exhaustion affected everything–my health, my diet, my ability to write. . .every area you could think of.
When you reach that point of exhaustion, you don’t feel like doing anything. You shut down. Even the littlest things feel impossible.
To be honest, it’s been months, and I’m still navigating the fall-out from that tumultuous season, especially the diet part. (Ahem.)
God has since closed the door on many areas of my life which has been a little jarring. . .but necessary. I’ve had to learn to use the word “No.” Trust me, that’s not a word that comes naturally to me.
I got to thinking about the verse I listed above from Matthew 11. When we take on too much, the yoke (burden) is heavy. But when we let those things go and pass them to God, He swaps them out for a different yoke, one that is light. The road is easier to navigate when the load is lighter.
The “yoke” Jesus referred to was an oxen’s yoke. Still, as a baker, my mind traveled to a different place altogether when I read the word “yoke” aloud. I immediately thought of an egg’s yolk.
The yolk of the egg is the heaviest part. It carries the most weight. It’s rich with protein and nutrient dense. When I want to enrich a cake (make it heavier) I’ll add extra eggs. . .specifically because of the yolk.
But when I want to lighten things up (make a chiffon cake, for instance) I’ll skip the yolks and just use the whites of the eggs.
The whites can be whipped light and fluffy and folded into the batter to create air pockets, resulting in a much lighter finished product.
The white of the egg is also the protective barrier for the yolk.
Over the past few months God has been protecting me by removing many of the yolks/yokes in my life. He’s been lightening my load, creating air pockets so that I can breathe. Rest. Regroup.
It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been rather frightening at times. That’s how it is when you let go of the reins and trust Him. But in my case, it’s been absolutely essential for my survival.
I don’t know where you are.
I don’t know how heavy your yoke is at this very moment. But I do know that the Lord loves you so much that He nudged me to pen these words so that you could read them.
If your yoke is heavy, ask Him to take it. But, be prepared for some changes in your heart, mind, and situation. Be prepared to have Him rearrange your days and reconfigure your journey.
Be prepared for air pockets. Moments of rest and relaxation. Bubble baths. Long walks. Time with Him. Time with family. Time with pets. Good food. Some sweet treats from this blog, perhaps.
Be prepared to say no. . .even to some good things. Some fun things. Some “usual” things.
His yoke is easy. He wants to lighten things up. But He’s gentle enough to wait on you.
What do you need to say no to today? I pray God gives you the courage to speak up so that He can create air pockets. Then, after you’ve caught your breath, you can garner the strength to do the things He’s actually called you to do.
Trust me, friend. . .the finished product will be much lighter.
Lord, I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. I’m so sorry for getting in over my head. I only want to do what You’ve called me to do–nothing more and nothing less. Remove from me all of the things that aren’t mine to carry. Take away the burdens that aren’t mine to bear. And give me the rest I need to move forward with You so that I can accomplish all that You have given me to do. Thank You for the air pockets, Jesus. Amen.
Thanks for reading, friends. To learn more about my writing journey, visit my Books by Janice page.
To learn more about this blog, check out my “Step Out of the Box” page.