Thursday, February 5, 2009
Yoke of Faith or Frustration?
In the closing verses of Matthew Chapter 11, Christ tells us to take His yoke because it is easy and His burden is light. How many of us on a daily basis can say we feel unburdened and lighthearted? It all depends on our perspective, doesn't it?
Take for example the people of Zimbabwe. Recently our church hosted several missionaries home on furlough to assist in our Global Missions emphasis. My Sunday School class was honored with our key speaker for Sunday worship and also for a cozy Saturday evening potluck where we could converse with Greg about his mission home, Zimbabwe.
Greg and his wife have been on mission to see lives given to Christ in Zimbabwe for 21 years, but Greg also grew up in the country with his missionary parents. He speaks the native tongue perfectly. I am sure that Zimbabwe feels more like home to him than anywhere in the US.
I learned from Greg how burdensome survival has become in the past 8 years for the people of Zimbabwe. A very corrupt and selfish regime has been in control and has stripped the country of its resources and money to the point where only the most powerful people live well. Most of the energy of the population is spent in survival mode.
Four million Zimbabwe residents have moved out of the country to neighboring countries to have a better life and to send money back to relatives still caught in a pathetic and poverty stricken lifestyle. The currency in Zimbabwe is worthless and inflation is 1600% compared to the years of prosperity in the 1990's. White farmers have been driven out of their working farms and homes to sate the greed of the militia involved in the overthrow of the last government. Now the farms across the country produce nothing and are in shambles.
And yet, God has seen fit to bless the native people with missionaries who bring people out of the bondage of Satan and his crafty and wicked ways. Hundreds have given up up the idol worship of the ancestral ways. Greg testified to some very dramatic conversions where the presence of evil spirits in a person were driven out and the freedom felt by the new believer was exhilarating and cause for joyous song and dance for all the witnesses.
What can we glean from such circumstances? On the one hand, the outward Yoke of life has not changed one iota, but inwardly in the spirit their is the beginning of "a future with hope" as it says in Jeremiah, Chapter 29:11. Every believer can view the world as it is or the world as it will become under Christ's Lordship. In the former you will only have a heavy yoke of frustration, but in the latter your heartbeat will be light and easy.