When my kids were small, they were enamored with Siberian huskies because … well, they’re sled dogs and they’re cool! They wanted a husky more than anything and mentioned it often (by often, I mean often). After caving in to my daughter (a common occurrence), we found a beautiful blue and brown-eyed husky without a home and named him Rafiki. =)
Shortly thereafter, my daughter asked if Rafiki could pull her and her brother on their wagon. Curious to give it a try, I asked her to attach two leashes to Rafiki’s shoulder harness … one that I could hold and and a second attached to the wagon so he could pull them around the yard. It worked better than expected and it was evident the kids thoroughly enjoyed their new dog. Without a doubt, Rafiki enjoyed them as well. I can recall how patiently he stood while my daughter hitched him and how he never once resisted her. We’ve all seen other dogs that resist having a leash attached or move around incessantly, but not this one. Not once.
Rafiki had an ideal disposition but to this day I’m certain that the attitude of my daughter had substantial bearing on his willingness to serve them. They loved that dog and were so gentle and kind to him; talking and encouraging with their voices and helping him do the job they wanted. I’m also certain that Rafiki knew that he was precious to them as well.
This story and relationship always reminds me of the following verse:
“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.”
This is such an awesome verse! It shows that Jesus invites those who carry heavy loads to simply come to Him. He can make the load seem inconsequential, even when we don’t seem to fit the task. I’ve also learned that this truth applies to so many aspects of our lives … our family responsibilities, our relationships, our careers, our social endeavors, on and on. Apart from Christ, our lives can seem confusing, tedious or even painstaking. The truth however, is that when we rely on Him and abide in Him, our lives become flooded with optimism and purpose. He gives us a new attitude and like Rafiki, we gladly accept and serve if that is what we’re asked to do.