If I call you “Sweetheart” I’m not trying to be fresh. I simply cannot recall your name. Please don’t take offense. I can’t remember mine either and have to think how it’s spelled each time I sign one of those credit card slips. And then some wise-acre wants my date of birth or phone number.
The doctor’s office people must shred documents after my visit so they can hand me a germ-covered clipboard and a public pen to record the same data at the next appointment. I understand how a deer feels in the blaze of oncoming headlights when I read questions like, “Have you ever had any of the following…?” Hey, I don’t even know what half those ailments are. Here’s my Mom’s number. Can you call and ask her?
And boy did I cause a stir with this winner, “Did you have nausea during your pregnancy?” I certainly did. I couldn’t expect Shawn to eat ice cream alone, could I? One stern-faced attendant queried to see if I had a living will. Holy horseshoes, do I need one? What are you going to do to me, and where did you put my pants? I’m out of here! And they wonder why my blood pressure is high.
Amid the changes of life comfort flows from knowing there is a Constant. God extends His invitation to all of us, “Lean on Me!” David, the shepherd who became king, wrote:
Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:24 NASB
In the same Psalm, David compiled an impressive list of God’s attributes and His actions on our behalf—solid reasons for leaning on the Lord. And the best part? God never changes.
1. The Lord is a place of refuge.
(See verse 1.) Children find comfort in the simplest things – a worn blanket, a leaking stuffed animal, a favorite cartoon movie with its happy ending, or the sound of mom’s voice. Adults try to reacquire that warm fuzzy feeling often without success. A vibrant and growing relationship with God gives a quiet place when we need to hide.
2. He inclines His ear to hear me.
(See verse 2.) How does God incline His ear? A crying child tugs incessantly at his dad’s pant leg. Life is overwhelming when all one sees is knee caps. The loving father kneels to the child’s level, perhaps pulls the little one close, to grasp the message and dry the tears. That’s the picture.
3. The Lord leads and guides.
(See verse 3.) As our years of life experience add up we stand amazed that a day can deliver demands for wisdom we do not yet possess. There is a Source, and He loves to share.
4. He delivers us from snares.
(See verse 4.) Snares. Traps. Pitfalls. Perhaps ours is a person who easily derails our composure, a temptation inviting us to ruin, or even an appetite determined to mar our spiritual, physical, or mental health. Snares are easily avoided when our Guide points them out.
5. He knows our affliction and the troubles of our souls.
(See verse 7.) Encouragement flows from having someone beside us who understands our situation. We can hide the hurt and fear from others, but God knows all.
6. My times are in His hands.
(See verse 15.) Some days we wonder how this chaotic hodgepodge we call life can have meaning, purpose, or design. As we stare at the pieces and rotate edges trying to make them fit frustration overwhelms us. Take comfort. Someone knows the plan.
7. He is a source of unceasing goodness.
(See verse 19.) Recognizing goodness means we’re counting blessings rather than complaining about wants. Our blessing counting prowess improves with practice.
8. He hears my cries.
(See verse 22.) David repeated this idea. He knew how easily the power and privilege of prayer can be forgotten. Take full advantage of the promise.
Need a boost? Take a deep breath, summon courage, and charge ahead. God has everything under His control. We can lean on His everlasting arms.