Only a couple of days ago I had the feeling of being overwhelmed by my ‘to do’ list, which consisted not only of jobs for that day, but also a backlog of jobs from previous days. But a few words came into my mind, “leaning on the grace of God”. I was immediately reminded that that was exactly what I needed to do. I began to feel more settled as the day continued, and I did manage to accomplish what needed to be done that day.
I considered what it means to lean on someone. I thought of the benefit of leaning on the strong arm of a person who might offer me assistance if I was having difficulty walking. A firm and steady arm to lean on and provide support would be very welcome indeed in that situation. Leaning is linked to trust and being able to rely on someone.
We can lean on God whenever we need help. He is always a hundred per cent trustworthy and reliable, whatever our circumstances may be. He is interested in every single detail of our lives, whatever the size of our problems.
I remembered the hymn, ‘Leaning on the everlasting arms’. When I looked up the details on, I discovered it was written by Anthony Showalter and Elisha Hoffman in 1887. The hymn is based on Deuteronomy 33:27, which in the NIV reads, ‘The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms’.
The words to this timeless hymn offer great hope and encouragement.
‘What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms! What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms! Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms, leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way, leaning on the everlasting arms! Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms! What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms’.
I have to confess I am not always quick to lean on God. My pride often finds me wearing myself out trying to cope in my own strength. Yet when I do admit to God my weakness and inability to cope with situations, I find that I often experience His help in truly remarkable ways.
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