Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Lean on Me


Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

First God calls us to Himself, to follow and know Him, and also to a particular life purpose, a reason for being.  Included in this life purpose will not only be our giftedness, but also our weaknesses and day-to-day decisions.
If you prayed the Lord's will, it doesn't matter what it looks like on the outside.  You are placed there to make a difference.  God's anointing rests on those that walk in Divine purpose.  Often your passion is linked with your purpose. ~Valerie Carraotta

Honestly, my friends, I struggle in the last weeks of 2018 with my word for the coming year.  When my husband, Danny, and I retreat gratefully to a mountain cabin in the first week of December, I am literally pummeled by possible selections, which I dutifully record in my journal.

What's wrong?  Even though I dart here and there, as a word displays its allure, nothing seems to stick beyond a fleeting moment.  I do take time to reflect upon a word or two that seems to speak to the present, writing down its application and implementation for the year ahead, yet when I wake the next morning and reread what I wrote, my soul comes up empty.

There's got to be something more . . .

I can't put my finger on God's intended word for me, so I surrender, and simply let it be.  For the last four years, God has faithfully granted to me the word that fits exactly who and where I am on my spiritual journey with Him.  I know I must be patient, and wait for His timing, but restlessness sets in.  Why can't I, as Valerie so aptly states above, receive the word God has, linking my passion with His purpose for me?

As most of you know, 2018 is a particularly trying and challenging year for our family.  I continue to pray, to stay in the Word, to compose my blog posts, but I discover, to my chagrin, that I am beginning to experience unhealthy bouts of anxiety and irritation, much more than I care to admit.  These feelings lead me to ask forgiveness from God more and more, as the last thing I want is to allow the negativity brewing within to erupt, and end up hurting those I love.

But in all of this turmoil, I am drawing closer to the Lord in my weakness; much more than I realize.  God is calling me to Himself in a deeper, more intimate way through the trials.  Then suddenly, just days before the advent of 2019, "the word" arrives, the one God's been inviting me to discover all along.

LEAN!

And immediately, these lyrics appear in my head and in my heart, as I envision the Lord singing over me:


Lean on me
When you're not strong
And I'll be your friend;
I'll help you carry on.

Yes!  That's exactly what He has been trying to tell me all these long, turbulent months.

Lean!  On Him, not my own understanding.


  • L - Listen - to God's still, small voice, beckoning me to be with Him in quiet and solitude.
  • E - Embrace - the calling God is giving me.
  • A - Adore - worship Him in humility and gratefulness for all His blessings and promises.
  • N - Nourish - feed my soul with His Word, that I might, in turn, nourish others.

So this year, when the going gets tough, and I'm not tough enough to get going, I will lean on the Lord, my God, to see me through.  To be my strength.  My rock.  My shield.

My friend.

Knowing He is ever present to help me carry on.

Amen!

36 comments:

  1. We all go through difficult times, Martha, when we feel overwhelmed by life's events, by our prayer life, by our doubts, fears and worries. It is when we are at our weakest the the devil finds an opportunity to lead us astray.

    I often pray, "Lord I can't go on. Too tired. Please help".

    It is not in God's interest to lose His followers. That's not the business He is in. He will leave the 99 to go searching for the one who has gone astray. He always comes to our aid in response to honest prayers and will say, "lean on Me! I'll help you carry on."

    God bless.

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    1. Victor, thank you for your kind and meaningful words of encouragement here. Yes, we all go through difficult times, and God certainly wants to keep us in His fold at all costs. Leaning on Him the moment I begin to feel "lost" or frustrated is working wonders for me, and pray that will continue throughout the year.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I like the way your "acrosticized" the word Martha. Helps break it down into manageable parts. May your leaning sessions be ever deeper and richer as you go through 2019.

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  3. Thank you, Bill! Yes, that was an idea that hit as I was reflecting on the word itself. It does help me to focus on how to lean into God more fully.
    Love and blessings!

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  4. Love it, Martha! I've been anticipating since your comment on my blog post what your word would be. Love Valerie's addition and words here.

    And your acrostic is beautiful for "Lean." Oh, how I pray to listen, embrace, adore, and nourish! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen, I'm glad you liked the word and the acrostic, too. And Valerie was so sweet to let me include this passage from one of her recent posts. Somehow, her words spoke to my heart when I read them, and just had to include them here.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Thanks for the mnemonic, Martha. That helps! May God continue to give you insights into His Word.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary! The mnemonic does help in so many ways. Believe me, I am leaning into God with everything I've got - needing Him more than ever.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, how beautiful! This new post reveals a heart intent on drawing ever closer to him. When you lean into him, when you “press in” you hear his heartbeat. You dwell in the secret place. You abide in the vine and bear much fruit. And when you pray, it is always the will of God. It is no longer hit and miss prayer, but always on target. This is his will for those who are called according to his purpose. To lean on him. That song, “Lean on me,” says it all. Bless you my friend. May we always see his hand of love in our trials and tribulations – I pray this for myself too. When I notice anxiety in myself I no longer see it as sin but as a sign to lean closer and dig for the root. There is always some latent fear that produces the anxiety that he wants to reveal and heal. Always.

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    1. "When you lean into him, when you 'press in' you hear his heartbeat. You dwell in the secret place."
      Oh, how beautiful, Debra, and so deeply meaningful to me. God has been working on me to surrender fully, to crawl up in His lap like a trusting child, and at long last, my ears opened to His persistent call. I'm looking forward to leaning into Him in this new year and beyond.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. What a GREAT word! I am on a quest to find one scripture daily that calls my name. So far--so good! Be STILL and know that He is God! I suspect a period of stillness daily will help with your anxiety.
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Oh, yes, Lulu, that is the perfect verse for you, and wouldn't do me any harm either. I am already benefiting greatly from remembering to lean into the Lord the moment anxiety or frustration rears its ugly head. So glad God didn't give up on me when I was so slow to see the word He was giving me.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. One word in response to your word -- perfect.

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    1. Thanks for the thumbs up, Galen! Yes, as it is working marvelously already in calming my soul, many times per day, might I add, I'm so grateful to God for opening my eyes and heart that I can lean fully into Him.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha, Thank you for sharing this meaningful post. Yes, leaning on Jesus! Leaning...learning to truly do this is amazing. And as Debra mentioned above, leaning is abiding in the vine--in Christ (John 15) and dwelling in the secret place of the most high (Ps. 91).

    A hymn comes to mind: "I'm learning to lean, learning to lean, learning to lean on Jesus..." Jesus is sure, steadfast, strong enough to lean on and so much more!

    Jesus is our Strength in those "hard" times we all experience in this fallen world.

    May God bless you richly this year as you learn to lean on Jesus!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Kim, I can't believe it, but I've never heard that hymn before, yet it fits so perfectly with my word for the year! I'm definitely going to look up the lyrics and the hymn to listen to. And yes, I so agree with Debra that leaning IS abiding in the vine and dwelling in the secret place of the most high. Indescribable comfort, indescribable peace . . .
      Love and blessings!

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  10. I pray God will give you special strength as you navigate the difficult waters, Martha. I'm certain it can be quite stressful being a caretaker. I love the word God gave you and the acrostic you made from it. I especially love that it starts with listening to God's voice. It all begins with Him, doesn't it? Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Yes, indeed, Trudy, it all does begin with God and with listening to His voice. Looking back, I can't believe how I kept seeking and seeking for that word, but I simply could not find it until I realized, as I described above, that God had been teaching me HOW to lean for many, many months, and I was finally able to accept it with joy and thanksgiving.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Martha, Lean is a great word! Love the Scripture, love the acrostic and love the song! And by the way, I love you, too, my friend!

    I look forward to the things you will share with us here as God teaches you how to better "lean on Him."

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    1. Love you, too, dear Beckie! And leaning upon God, picturing myself snuggled next to Jesus, is already reaping benefits I could never have imagined. Yes, I will share this journey at my blog throughout the year, and will take this word with me all of my days.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. What a splendid selection, Martha! I love that song! I'll never forget when we attended my first (and only) college football game, Auburn's then-quarterback was mired in all sorts of ugly controversy. No-one was sure if he'd play. Then when he came running out the entire student section broke out in that song.

    Thank you for your candor and sharing your vulnerability!

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    1. Oh, what a great memory you've shared here, Mevely! It's a great song, yes, and my perfect word for the year, thanks be to God. Even when we doubt, when we stumble and fall, He never fails us. I'm so grateful He was so patient with me as I grappled with the word He had been trying to tell me all along.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Good word, Martha. Let go and lean on the one who holds eternity in His hands.

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    1. Yes, Nells, our great God who holds the whole world, and all eternity, in His most capable hands. We can lean on Him forever and ever!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. Perfect, Martha Jane! Isn't it wonderful and comforting the way the Lord works in our lives!!

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    1. Oh, Terri, yes it is! I never cease to marvel at His wondrous works and His endless forgiveness when we've fallen short. I'm praying that leaning upon Him is His way of encouraging the work in progress that I am.
      Love and blessings!

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  15. The Lord seems to work like that every time in my life! When I need the answer "now", it is always ... wait! And then in His perfect timing, the answer comes, and I love how the perfect word for your year showed up when you let it go. Truly a word all of us must learn to use, over and over, as we are all too willing to try to carry our burdens alone and agonizing over it. But, when we give it to Him, let it be and lean on His wisdom and timing, things have a way of working themselves out. Praying for you in this new year that the Lord will undertake in mighty ways in your life, and that His presence will grace your soul in a beautiful way. Blessings and hugs!

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    1. Thank you, Marilyn, for your kind and thoughtful words of encouragement! Yes, it seems when we cling too tightly to what we want to happen, our hands are closed, and we are unable to receive any gift God longs to give us. It is in the letting go, trusting that God will provide in His good time, where we find our way and our purpose. Praying for you, and all my blogging friends, for a blessed 2019!
      Love and blessings!

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  16. same is happening to me but I keep going back to my word for last year, "Deep". I am wondering if God has more for me in "deep" so until He changes it, it will ride through 2018 with me. I love your word, lean, it will take you deep. Blessings Martha.

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    1. Yes, Betty, to lean into God will take me deeper into His love and grace. Cling to the word that works for you, my friend! God has a message He is still conveying, and you are most wise to listen and heed. My word for last year is "Breathe," and I'm carrying it forward into this year of learning as I embrace "lean."
      Love and blessings!

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  17. Ah!! The perfect word! Lean...leaning on the Lord and not on our own understanding...yes...what a sweet and safe place to be..leaning on the Lord, almost like laying upon His breast and listening to His heartbeat as He speaks words of love and tenderness to you, comforting and keeping you near...yes...lean on the Lord and not on your own understanding...let Him carry you, lift you higher, and give you His strength. Yes...lean on the everlasting arms!!!Safe and secure from all alarms..."Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" one of my favorite old hymns. Perfect word for you...for me, for all of us. We will be leaning with you.

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  18. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms . . . Yes, Pamela, I've come to visualize myself as Davy, leaning into Jesus when he is so afraid and uncertain in The Glade Series. Warmth, peace, comfort, love, reassurance, all wrapped up like the most precious gift one could give to another. Because it is the perfect gift. So gratified to know that dear friends like you will be leaning with me!
    Love and blessings!

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  19. Oh, what a wonderful word! I love it. It made me think of Deuteronomy 33:27, "The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms." What would we do without those arms to lean on? I don't know how people make it without Jesus at the helm. So thankful to visit with you and trusting God to help you in this new year!

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    1. What a perfect verse to share here with us, Cheryl! I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my Lord to lean on. How do people even live without God? Something I wonder about a lot.
      May your new year be blessed and happy, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  20. Isn't this process amazing? Just when you can't find the right now or think you maybe have one, another one, just the right one emerges. I see this more often than not. May LEAN thread its light into your life throughout 2019!

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    1. Yes, it is an amazing process, Jean, and one that God has His hands all over. I'm just so grateful He chose the right word for me, and that I stood still enough to hear it.
      Love and blessings!

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