“Come to me, all 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.” Matthew 11:29-30
In my workout group’s parlance, a “grinder” is when two partners run in the other direction, do their exercise, then return to meet in the middle in order to do a brief second exercise, and then pass on to the opposite side for a third set on their own.
As I slapped hands while doing pushups with a friend this morning, all the pieces fell into place for me.
Last week, I had told my prayer group that my relationship with God was that God and I were grinding it out right now. It’s not a season of doubt, or darknight wrestling, or burnout. Rather it is like my morning workout partner. We are doing our exercises on our own, but I know when I get to the middle He will be there for some quick handshake pushups, before we sprint on to the next exercise on our own.
To make it through these workouts, I just duck my head and grind it out.
How frequently does our relationship with God fall into this routine?
We grind it out in life, and then we sprint into a church building on Sunday morning to quickly slap hands, before heading back out to the next thing on the agenda. All the while expecting God has headed out in the other direction to do His thing, and hoping that He will show back up the next week.
What, however, would it look like if I actually heeded His call to take up his yoke. Because a yoke requires two oxen lashed together, heading in the same direction to work. When two oxen are misaligned they pull and struggle against each other. But if we take on Christ’s yoke, we are heading with Him out into the mission field.
Also, it is interesting that Jesus says that “rest” is found when lashed to a farming tool alongside Him. Rest is not sitting still, but laboring with and for Christ. He claims that we will be taking up His burden and His yoke and that is where we find rest? Strangely, perhaps because the real weight of responsibility fell upon Christ’s shoulders on the cross, there is rest in this labor.
It produces what a friend of my recently described as the joy of being purposefully tired.
So are you and God in the grinder or yoked together?