I clicked on the submit button and a huge grin spread across my face. I had just paid off a credit card bill. Unexpected pay cuts and bad decisions had become like a spiritual noose around my neck. With the simple click of the mouse, I experienced a sense of freedom that seemed impossible just a few short months ago and loosened that spiritual noose of the bondage of debt.
Merriam Webster defines a yoke as “a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together; an arched device formerly laid on the neck of a defeated person.”
For years, I had been yoked with the burden of debt. Impulsive decisions, spending more than I make and several sessions of “retail therapy” contributed to my debt. But not all of the debt I incurred was my fault. Pay cuts, an unstable job market and an expensive mortgage also contributed.
The stress of trying to keep afloat financially weighed me down, making the yoke burdensome and tiring. I bucked hard, trying to go my own way and free myself from the debt on my own. When I did that, I just found more bills that vied for my attention.
I had put the yoke of defeat on myself, and now it was causing me to crawl to Jesus instead of run to him with perseverance.
But God has a better plan in store for me.
Mark 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
One day, I chose to unburden myself from the yoke of debt. I made a strict budget, scraping together what little extra money I had and paid down my credit cards, the one with the lowest balance first.
When I chose to throw off the yoke of cumbersome stress and worry that debt causes and began asking God for His provision, I found he multiplied my finances in miraculous ways. For example, food is an expensive commodity in my house. Sometimes we have to skimp on healthy, nourishing foods to buy the essentials. I cried out to God during my prayer time an asked for His miraculous provision. Within a week, a church member landed on my doorstep with boxes of food. We were elated. Our pantry was so full, the shelves sagged under the weight of God’s tangible blessings. Other times, I would find extra money at the end of the month in our account.
But the road to becoming debt free can contain some bumps along the way. Car repairs, children’s extra curricular activities and holiday gifts derailed my flawless plan. The difference though, is that this time, I didn’t become discouraged. I picked myself up and started on my plan again.
When I went to God in prayer, I chose to walk with Him as partners, forging through this difficult season of life together. I no longer felt the need to travel alone, for my yoke felt lighter and freer. Although I have a long way to go to become completely debt free, one thing is for sure. It is better to travel with God’s yoke than my own.
Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Indeed.
Michelle S. Lazurek is a pastor’s wife, a mother, an author, and a speaker. She is a contributing writer for Movieguide Magazine and has been published on Charisma Magazine’s website www.charismanews.com. Her e-book Everything I Learned About Writing I Learned From Rocky Balboa: Six Ways To Keep Fighting Without Throwing in the Towel made Amazon’s best seller list in its category. She holds a Master’s in Counseling from Liberty University. You can visit her at www.michellelazurek.com .