An account, whether true or not, is told in Streams in the Desert of an old, southern deacon who would always end his prayers with, “Lord, prop us up on every leaning side.”
When asked why he prayed that way, he answered, “Well, sir, you see, it’s like this…I got an old barn out back. It’s been there a long time; it’s withstood a lot of weather. It’s gone through a lot of storms, and it has stood for many years.
“It’s still standing, but one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit, so I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn’t fall. Then, I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn. I’ve been around a long time. I’ve withstood a lot of hard times, and I’m still standing, too, but I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, ’cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times.”
A lot of us do get to leaning at times. We begin to lean the wrong way, toward depression, discouragement, giving up, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, addiction, or whatever.
Solomon tells us where not to lean, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV)
If we lean, let’s lean upon our Beloved as the disciple John did, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23 NKJV), and be as the Shulamite, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” (Song 8:5 NKJV)
Do you have a tendency to lean? Who or what props you up?