Lifting the Burden of Emptiness (Beating the Blues #3)

I’m honored to participate in our pastor’s current sermon series, “Beating the Blues” as a guest writer. Here is the third and final installment:


She was sexually abused as a child and often escaped to shelters and as a teenager, the depths of depression led to thoughts of suicide because the yoke was too heavy to carry.

That yoke – it wasn’t made for her to carry, though. So she took it off and gave it back and picked up another one. One that was light and easy. And today she walks tall and free.

She is a mom and works full-time and is a caregiving wife to her husband who is recovering from a near-fatal accident. It’s been years and some have told her it’s okay to walk away because the yoke is too heavy to carry.

That yoke – it wasn’t made for her to carry, though. So she daily reminds herself to take it off and give it back and picks up another one. One that is light and easy. And some days are easier than others but she still walks tall and free.

After her parents divorced, when she was well past the age of innocence, her mom got caught up with the wrong person at the wrong time and went to prison. And she spent eight long years without her mom at her side – without laughter and lunches and teas and tears. And for a very long time, the yoke wore her down and all she could do was crawl under its weight, knees bloodied and hands calloused.

That yoke – it wasn’t made for her to carry, though. And some days…often, really…Satan tries to convince her to pick it up and crawl around under its weight again. And she has it in her hands and is about to place it on her back when she remembers it’s not hers to carry. So she puts it down and picks up the light one, the easy one, and stands tall and free and carries on.

It’s like there are two groups of Christians and we’re all in a giant and lush field of green pastures. And on one side is the group who still carries their heavy and hard yokes. And some are even really proud of their yokes. And they sand off the rough patches and polish it up so it looks pretty but they still carry it and are crushed in both body and spirit.

And on the other side of the field is the group who have laid down their heavy and hard yokes and are instead yoked up with Jesus – light and easy. And they are all side-by-side with arms linked and in the middle is Jesus…face bright and smile as wide as east and west and as a group they are all yelling, “Red Rover! Red Rover! Send yourself over!” and when one decides to finally break free and leave behind the heaviness, Jesus breaks away to embrace them in a hug of grace and everyone cheers because finally…just finally.

It’s up to us to decide to break free. Jesus says, “Come to me…Take my yoke…Let me…” It’s an invitation for action on our part. He won’t take it away unless we come and take and let.

He invites us to act. Always and forever.

What are you carrying today that Jesus is waiting for you to let go of? What yoke are you carrying that wasn’t made for you? Come. Take. And let Him.

Send yourself over.