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oxenWay back in my student-teaching days, I discovered an educational computer game called Oregon Trail that simulated the pioneer’s journey across the country in wagon trains. Unfortunately, I usually contracted a disease … or my oxen got sick or injured. Healthy oxen soon became my focus for keeping the wagon moving and surviving to the end.

True pioneers knew the importance of caring for their animals. While cows, chickens, and pigs were important for food, horses and oxen were vital for transportation and work. An ox is usually a steer trained to pull a plow or wagon, thresh grain, or power other machines. Usually a pair of oxen was yoked together to create a powerful team. In fact, two oxen yoked together can pull more than double the combined weight they could pull individually. All because of a piece of wood putting the weight on their shoulders and keeping them in step with each other.

Oxen are thought to have first been harnessed and put to work around 4000 BC so it is little wonder that Jesus referred to them as example for carrying burdens. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

Do you have burdens that are too heavy to bear? By yoking up with Jesus, He promises to make to make it easier to carry. We will find rest as we learn to walk in step with Him.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV)

Creation declares that we have help to carry our burdens when we yoke up with Christ.

What about you? What burdens do you carry? Are you carrying them alone or sharing the yoke with someone?

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