Let us learn the lesson of the ox, who stands lowest in the scale of service: his place is under the yoke, in lowly submission. Let us understand first of all the “yoking together with Christ” and learn what that yoke-fellowship with Him means. If we look at Jeremiah 31:18 we find that it is Christ Himself Who takes us under His yoke. As we may see in the East, a trained bullock trains the “unaccustomed” one by being yoked with it and letting it, if necessary, go down into the dust dragging and kicking. He finds no relief for his bruised shoulders till at last he gives in and lets the yoke fall into its place and stay there. Then he finds the fulfillment of the promise “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” for lo! it is Christ Who is yoked with us and Who bears all that part of the burden that is too heavy for us. This taking of His yoke in uttermost yieldedness binds us into one spirit with Him, and then His peace settles down. The hour when we accept all in utter humility is marked with the words “Ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Another characteristic of the ox is his patience, and this is also another lesson that we learn in this yoke-fellow service. We see now something of the supreme patience of Christ. His hands and feet bound in swaddling clothes in those hours in Bethlehem, and His hands and feet bound in His last hours on the Cross, were but a symbol between the two. We see His patience during His temptation, with present physical exhaustion and hunger; patience all through His ministry, Patience in taking up His Cross when He might have escaped it. His patient waiting for the Kingdom, and patience for His glory.
And so it is just that question, whether we will “learn of” Him, whether we will take His yoke, not only in the big things, but in the small trivialities of daily life, in the tiny units that make up the whole, just in any small beginnings that God my give us. Then rewarding His servant He said “Ye have been faithful in the little things.”
Let us learn this faithfulness, this patience, in the little things as a preparation for that full rich time when the servants and their Lord shall reign together in His glory.
~ Lilias Trotter (May 1928)