Keys to the Kingdom – Carolyn Tucker
Many of my childhood church memories revolve around the music. Back then, we had a song leader, pianist, organist, and a congregation who loved to sing. The song leader would select a few hymns, and then would ask if anyone had a number they’d like for us to sing. Sister Ada Samsel would usually call out for #78 “Unsearchable Riches” in the key of Bb in 6/8 timing. Another hymn we sang was “His Yoke is Easy.” I never thought a yoke looked easy because it was heavy and cumbersome. Although I’ve sang and played that song most of my life, I did not understand it until four years ago.
The scripture reference for this hymn is found in Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.“
I have an old photo of my Dad and his sister each sitting atop a pair of work horses. Ol’ Bird and Puss were a necessary asset to farming the acres in the Needmore community. They were a well-matched pair and could accomplish a lot in a sun-up to sun-down day. I’m not old enough to have seen anyone work with a pair of oxen, mules, or work horses to plow up the soil. But, I understand how the system is supposed to work. You can’t pair up an ox with a mule and expect the plowing to go well, or go at all for that matter. In order to accomplish a tough task, these animals must work side by side to equally pull the heavy load.
When a believer finds himself staring at the hard ground beneath his feet, it’s time to get yoked up with Jesus. This is the only example where an unmatched pair works together perfectly. We must deliberately join Jesus so He can pull the heavy load. He’ll do all the laboring and wearisome work which enables us to simply walk beside Him and find rest. If you’ve been trying to plow the bottom 40 all alone, you’ll find out you can’t do it any longer by yourself. When you choose to be yoked together with Jesus, you have the greatest Partner in the world who is able to turn a hard situation into a lighter outcome.
This hymn was written by R. E. Hudson and the chorus lyrics are: “His yoke is easy; His burden is light. I’ve found it so, I’ve found it so. He leadeth me by day and by night where living waters flow.“ You might say I’ve burned my own yoke, stepped into Jesus’ yoke, and now He’s taking the load so that my burden is light. And this is accomplished by faith in His Word and receiving His matchless grace for the moment.
The Key: Jesus’ yoke is easy, so start plowing together instead of on your own.