The last week has been another of those times when God keeps repeating something to me in different ways. Does that mean I'm not listening well? The key word this time has been "lean."
- I grew up going to a church where we sang the old hymns, and one of those hymns has been in my head all week, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."
- I received a sweet card in the mail with the picture of two little girls, one leaning on the back of the other's shoulder. The card said this, "If you need to lean awhile...I'm here."
- While I was receiving my first chemo treatment last week Mark went over to the mall for a few minutes to get some lunch. When he returned he brought me a beautiful package with a big purple bow. He said, "I saw this and I had to buy it for you. It's you, leaning on the Lord." I opened the package and found a gorgeous Lladro porcelain figurine of a girl resting and leaning.
- Yesterday I went to my brother's Facebook page and his status said, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
Sometimes I am a little thick-headed, but I am starting to see a trend here. God wants me to understand what it means to "lean", He wants me to recognize the benefits of leaning, and He wants me to practice doing so. He also wants me to know when and where to lean and when and where to "lean not".
Just for fun I looked up the definition of the word lean and here is what the Webster's Dictionary says:
to rest against or on something for support
to press against
to incline the weight of the body
to depend or rely for assistance
If you think about the times in our lives when we lean it is when we are injured, broken, weak, sick, unable to carry our own weight; and then we lean - on crutches, on canes, on other people.
But I see God's Word here telling me to lean on Him as an ordinary practice of my day. He wants me to lean daily, constantly, continuously on Him. My human condition, whether I recognize it or not, is one of brokenness and weakness. If I'm not leaning on Him, I will never be able to live the life He has planned for me.
So my new paraphrase of the verses from Proverbs goes like this:
"Laura, rest against the Lord daily, constantly, continuously; and do not rely for assistance on yourself; in all your ways press against Him and He will accomplish His good plans for you."
I'm going to practice leaning today. I hope you are leaning too!