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Lindsey Mitzel considers the benefits of giving up her sought-after control of situations and leaning on Jesus.

The sound of the horse-drawn taxi caught the attention of my family as it rounded the uphill bend. We were stopped on the sidewalk with a diaper change on the itinerary when one of the two horses lost its footing at the corner and stumbled to kneeling. I held my breath while it struggled to stand. Its teammate paused for a moment while the horse found its footing. They continued pulling their load—a continued uphill battle to their destination. As the coach continued past us the other horse in the span sweetly nuzzled the injured horse, as if checking to make sure it was okay. Beyond causing my heart to initially skip a beat, Jesus used this to draw my attention again to Matthew 11:28-30: 

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” 


 This passage isn’t easy for me to understand. On the surface, the guidance seems clear: Submit your burdens to the Lord and He’ll take care of them. Practically speaking, however, I struggle. How do I take on the yoke God is offering me? I have a very young busy family—what does rest even look like?  

The team of horses that my family encountered were yoked together, pulling a wagon laden with heavy freight. Jesus showed me how I can stumble under heavy loads, but when I remain yoked to Him, just like the stumbling horse’s teammate, He will steady the wagon, stand strong, wait for me, and encourage me on.  




In the overwhelming situations of my life, I use lists and organization to seek to control outcomes I’m fearful of. I feel overwhelmed with my inability to achieve all the items on the lists and sometimes frustrated with others’ lack of enthusiasm for helping. Recently, in the middle of an overwhelming situation, Jesus revealed to me a least a partial answer to my questions—essentially, “Stay in your lane.” In my situation, Jesus was offering me rest through doing my part and not trying to control the parts of others.

I did feel a burden lifted—instead of feeling I needed to “do everything,” when I spent some time thinking about it, I realized I needed only to do one set of things and make clear what set of things I hoped others would do as well, and then give up control and trust in Jesus about all of it. Ultimately, this is a practice of submitting my will to God’s authority. I can tend to live as though I know best, but just as my toddlers only understand in part, I can only see a little in front of me.


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Practically speaking, I struggle. How do I take on the yoke God is offering me? #CatholicMom

My predictions may never happen; my worries never amount to anything. Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy road with no uphill climbs. He doesn’t promise that we won’t stumble or even fall. However, Jesus does promise us that He will always be with us. Moreover, Jesus promises to teach us humility and gentleness. The burden of the horses never changed, but I’m certain that in the gentle nuzzle of its friend, the injured horse felt a weight lifted. And ultimately, he was given rest—we saw later that the horse that stumbled was switched out for a fresh teammate.  

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15b) 

The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still. (Exodus 14:14) 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; in all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 




Copyright 2023 Lindsey Mitzel
Images: Canva