One of my favorite hymns is “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”. We do not have to panic in life’s toughest trials when we’re leaning on the all-powerful, loving, wise, everlasting arms. We can contentedly rest in our Savior’s gentle, secure embrace without fear or dread overwhelming us.
Contentedly, peacefully leaning involves being able to trust the person you are asking to support you. Some people simply aren’t trustworthy. As children, we look to our significant others to provide for and protect us. When that doesn’t happen like it should, we become insecure and develop trust issues. We may become people-pleasers who agree with others to earn their approval. We can also become anxious peacemakers who hate strife, endeavoring at whatever cost to avoid or settle conflict. All of this leaves us miserable and defeated. Also, while not true, we may feel like we must have done something wrong and earned what’s happened to us. This can leave us feeling like failures and cause us to live in a fantasy world.
Flawed and weak as it is, with no one else to lean on, we often rely on our own wisdom and strength. This leaves us feeling even more defeated. If we have strong willpower, we force ourselves up repeatedly. People who have experienced the trauma of such a dysfunctional home need healing for the wounds they received. They need to be set free and learn to trust again. All of this takes time, but Jesus is in no hurry. He wants a relationship with each of us so much he died to purchase it.
Not all fear is wrong. Some things are scary. For example, falling down a well we were digging at four years old was terrifying for me. I can still remember how deep and dark it was. I also remember yelling until help came. While I still remember it, Jesus has healed the memory and removed the fear. We do not have to be slaves to our past, we can be healed and set free from any wounds we receive.
For those people who grew up in a safe, loving home where your family was trustworthy, you have much to be grateful for. Since no one is perfect, you will still have dysfunctional areas in your life. Don’t attempt to correct any problem(s) on your own. Ask Jesus for his wisdom and strength in making changes. Seek healing prayer where it’s needed.
Weakness is not wickedness. In fact, Jesus’ strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). His grace truly is sufficient. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up because of our weaknesses, but rather be honest about them. Then ask Jesus for His wisdom and strength to overcome. Any test (weakness) can result in a testimony of God’s loving provision that enables us to walk in victory. Where we are weak, Jesus longs for us to ask for and receive his strength (2 Corinthians 12:10). What joy our doing this brings him!
Luke 15:3-5 tells us, “And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” When the shepherd arrives home, he calls his friends, and they rejoice together. That’s a loving shepherd who will do what it takes to rescue you. In fact, he promises to never leave you or forsake you (Hebrew 13:5-6). That’s a shepherd you can securely lean on.