“Lean on me, when you’re not strong. I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on”.
I just love that song called “Lean On Me”. The original version is by Bill Withers back in the 60’s. There have been several artists that have used their style to re-make the song. When it comes on the radio, it is not uncommon for me to turn up the volume and sing-out-loud to my hearts delight. Sometimes to the embarrassment of my children.
“Lean on me…”, have you ever needed someone to lean on? I don’t mean in the physical sense because you were going to fall over. I mean, when you are going through some really rough stuff, or just doing life and need a little extra support, you look for someone to lean on because you just don’t want to go it alone. Teenagers today might use “BFF” (Best Friends Forever) to describe that kind of person. However, for some of us that are just a tad-bit-older, our journey of life has changed who those people might be. Maybe you have made that promise to someone but didn’t follow through with it when they needed you the most?
“…when you’re not strong”. Ever felt that way? I have, too many times to recount. Maybe you are there now. Not feeling strong like you usually are, maybe even feeling like you are loosing your footing in the situation you find yourself in. Maybe weak in the physical sense and you need to ask for help or feeling depleted emotionally from the many challenges in your journey. Do you ask to lean on someone during this time or do you choose to go it alone? What do you do when you aren’t feeling strong? Who or what do you lean on? Let me assure you, it is not a weakness to lose strength. It is an opportunity for us to see Jesus more clearly. “The friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 17:17).
“…I’ll be your friend”. Sounds like a promise to me. Sadly, so many of us have had that kind of promise broken WAY too many times. All too often in my journey, “I’ll be your friend” has been followed up by “if and when” statements. In those situations, when I needed to lean on that person, they would fall over because they weren’t able to “handle” what I shared with them.
As I write this piece, I am sitting in the living room of some dear friends that have walked with us for the past twenty years. They have prayed for us, listened to us, never judged or criticized us. They have journeyed with us through thick and thin. They are truth-tellers and Jesus-lovers that have learned from their own experiences and strengthened us in our time of weakness.
When we don’t feel strong, we need our friends to stand by us. We were created for relationships. In my weakness, I need someone stronger. I need them to stand by me. Have you been that friend? Have you needed someone to keep that promise on your journey?
“…I’ll help you carry on”. That friend helps us get through the day. Get through the trial. They stay with us to the end. You go from surviving to thriving. Or maybe you just stay in survival mode and don’t end up crashing and burning. In my journey, through the pain and rejection I have experienced over the years, Jesus truly has been that friend that has helped me carry on. In those times where I wanted to quit and walk away, He would show up and lift me up over the next hurdle. Over the next challenge. He is my helper. He is my refuge and my strength (Psalm 46).
Well, whatever your situation and experience has been when you have chosen to acknowledge your weakness and then lean into someone, there is One who will NEVER fall over when you lean into Him.
His name is JESUS!!!
Firmly planted in His Father’s Hand and Will. Immovable, unshakeable, firm and in Truth.
Pursuing us and drawing us to Himself.
He wants us to lean on Him, He will not disappoint.
You might feel disappointed at times but I wonder if it is because He isn’t answering your prayer the way you want. Have hope, because He ALWAYS wants better for you.
“When we are weak, He is strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
He wants us to keep coming to Him. To keep leaning on Him.
“Lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight”. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Maybe you are a follower of Christ and are feeling weak. I encourage you to find an older woman or man (depending on your gender) to walk with you in a mentoring relationship. Pray for God to lead you to someone who He has been growing and strengthening. Someone that you could lean on and draw from, because they are leaning on Jesus and drawing from Him.
Maybe you know someone who needs a friend like that. I encourage you take that next step and reach out to them.
God has created us to be in relationship. First with Him and then with each other. Whatever side of that relationship you are on, my prayer for you is that you would discover Jesus on your journey and that His love for you is everlasting and He will NEVER break His promises to you.
What is your friendship style and how is God using you to impact someone’s story?
Thank you for joining me on this journey.