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The Key

Today's Devotional

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

In his classic book The Human Condition, Thomas Keating shares this memorable tale. A teacher, having lost the key to his home, is on his hands and knees searching through the grass. When his disciples see him searching, they join the hunt, but with no success. Finally, “one of the more intelligent disciples” asks, “Master, have you any idea where you might have lost the key?” Their teacher replies, “Of course. I lost it in the house.” When they exclaim, “Then why are we looking for it out here?” he answers, “Isn’t it obvious? There is more light here.”

We have lost the key to “intimacy with God, the experience of God’s loving presence,” Keating concludes. “Without that experience, nothing else quite works; with it, almost anything works.”  

How easy it is to forget that even in life’s ups and downs, God remains the key to our deepest longings. But when we’re ready to stop looking in all the wrong places, God is there, ready to show us true rest. In Matthew 11, Jesus praises the Father for revealing His ways, not to the “wise and learned,” but “to little children” (v. 25). Then He invites “all you who are weary and burdened” (v. 28) to come to Him for rest.

Like little children, we can find true rest as we learn the ways of our Teacher, who’s “gentle and humble in heart” (v. 29). God is there, eager to welcome us home.

When are you tempted to look for satisfaction and joy in the wrong places? What helps you remember to find peace, rest, and satisfaction in God instead?

Loving God, how easily I’m drawn to seek satisfaction in whatever looks brightest. Help me turn to You to find true rest.


A yoke, a wooden harness that joins two animals (usually oxen), is meant to lighten their heavy burden. The prophet Jeremiah used the yoke as a metaphor for God’s laws (Jeremiah 5:5) and a symbol of political submission and enslavement (27:8). The Jewish rabbis later used this metaphor to mean obedience to the law. The Jews at the time of Jesus were enslaved by the heavy yoke of legalistic Judaism that their teachers of the law had strenuously piled on them (Matthew 23:4; Luke 11:46; Acts 15:10). The Law of Moses was expanded into 613 detailed prohibitions and commands. And the Jews were to scrupulously observe the many requirements of “the traditions of the elders” (Mark 7:4–5). But Jesus’ “yoke is easy and [his] burden is light” because it’s rooted in who He is—“gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29–30). His commands aren’t “burdensome” because of the new birth (1 John 5:3–4).

By |2022-07-27T02:33:05-04:00July 27th, 2022|
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