“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”—Matthew 11:28 (NIV).
In my late 60s, I’m not as strong as I used to be. However, through exercise, I’m working toward improving my physical strength. My exercise is not as intense as it once was. I’ve had to downsize the amount I can lift with my hand weights. I don’t want to injure my body by overdoing it. As we age, our bodies don’t bounce back as quickly after an injury.
The burdens of an aging body change our lifestyles. It can be frustrating. However, one thing I’ve learned as each year passes. I’ve had to rely more on God, not only for physical strength, but for spiritual fortitude as well.
For me, Isaiah 46:4 is reassuring: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
The Burdens of Life
Older people aren’t the only ones who face life’s burdens. In fact, I believe the younger one is, the more anxious life can be, especially without God. Before surrendering to Christ in my late 40s, I tried to solve my own problems—and other’s as well. I didn’t take my worries to God in prayer. Instead, I plowed ahead, determined to find a solution.
An unknown quote I recently discovered is a reminder about prayer. “Prayer is the place where burdens change shoulders. We give our burdens to God and He gives us His peace.”
Peace and worry cannot co-exist. But when we turn our concerns over to God in prayer, we release them to a loving Heavenly Father. Our life of faith is based on a covenant-keeping God, who will never leave us nor forsake us. He’s a God who cares for us, a God who wants to hear from us in prayer.
Seeking God in Prayer
Watchman Nee, a Chinese church leader and Christian teacher, once said, “We should try our best to pour out all the burdens in our spirit by prayer until all of them have left us.”
Time spent alone with God in prayer is never wasted. If you’re seeking release and comfort from your anxieties, change will happen. Your worries won’t magically disappear, but you’ll be changed if you lay them at the foot of the cross.
Philippians 4:6 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
What about Giving Thanks?
When we’re faced with hardships, it’s sometimes difficult to see past our current situation. We might not see a way out, especially while waiting on God. But we should remember His timetable is not the same as ours. There’s a purpose in our waiting. During those times of delay, God usually has a lesson for us to learn.
Three lessons can be learned during times of waiting. First, we’re not alone. Jesus is always in the waiting room with us. Second, while we’re in the waiting room, we can seek a way to bless others. In return, we’ll be blessed. Third, counting your blessings will revitalize your faith. When our faith is replenished, we have the strength to continue putting one foot in front of the other.
A revitalized faith also opens doors to more blessings, even in the darkest of times. With God’s help, each day will be filled with promise and hope, no matter what you’re facing. Romans 8:28 is a wonderful reminder: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”