Two tunes have been running through my head, one is secular and was written by Bill Withers back in the 70’s, the other is a hymn written by Joseph Scrivens in 1855 for his mother who was far away from him in Ireland. What is the common thread of these two songs?
The first is Lean on Me and the other is What a Friend We Have in Jesus. The one says, “Lean on me when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on”…. the other says “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
If I had all the Wisdom of Solomon, and his riches I feel that I could solve the problems of everyone I know, and that’s the truth. One friend needs a job, desperately needing to pay rent and utilities, another has a spouse that is abusive verbally and is afraid that it will turn physical, then there is the friend that has a child the spouse is trying to get full custody of…then there is the one in a “going nowhere” relationship, but doesn’t realize it, and the list goes on and on…did I say if I were rich and had wisdom I could solve all their problems? There is no one on earth that can do that, although we are gifted with people who have the training to help us sort through our problems and can prescribe a drug that can help you cope…however they cannot solve anything on their own, can they? It takes co-operation from you and then, sometimes, it is not permanent…so where do we go for help? Shall we go back to “casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you?”1 Peter 5:7.
My grandfather told me something one time I will share with you, He said that in Psalm 23 it says “Your rod and your staff they comfort me”…the word of God is your “rod” and your friends are your “staff”…he said that you need both. We know that John chapter 1 says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So the Word (being Jesus) is the rod that we lean on, he holds us up. The rods the shepherds carried were made for their protection in warding off animals or enemies, but also they were made to push into the ground so that they could be leaned on at times when rest was needed. Proverbs 17:17 “A friend is always loyal and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
So now we see the two songs coming together…lean on me when you’re not strong, what a friend we have in Jesus, Lean and Friend are the underlined words.
I know a family that spent the greater part of yesterday in an effort to keep one of their siblings from committing the ultimate act of desperation, suicide, which is the permanent solution to a temporary problem.
If you are willing to die, why not give everything to God in Jesus’ name first? There are people who care and will pray, I know because I am one of them. Lean on and carry everything to God in prayer!