When I think about leaning into something, I think about getting relief. Taking a load off. Leaning against a wall when my feet are tired after a long run. Leaning in for a hug when my soul needs connection. There is so much beauty in a hug. Not a word needs to be said, but everything is communicated with this simple act. The feeling of leaning into a hug can evoke love, joy, happiness and peace.
For example, when I see any of my grown sons, immediately I lean in for a hug. We linger. I often close my eyes and take a deep breath. I don’t think of anything else in that moment but my child in my arms. When I hug my husband, I lean in and just experience the warmth, safety and unconditional love of his arms. When I visit my family and friends where I grew up in Phoenix, we run to one another and lean into hugs all around. It’s instant closeness and connection and it is beautiful.
There are also occasions where we may also find ourselves offering a hug to someone in distress. This action immediately offers understanding and comfort. What would happen if we went to give someone a hug and they leaned away? That would be uncomfortable, awkward and deeply hurtful. We would never want to make our Heavenly Father feel that way, would we?
When he sees us hurting, he opens his arms and leans in for a spiritual and emotional hug. He offers comfort, understanding, love and guidance. What do we do in these moments? Do we lean into Him? Do we accept his guidance and follow his ways or do we lean away from him and into our own understanding? Do we instead lean in to people, shopping, drinking or drugs, binge watching television, or other forms of entertainment to keep us distracted?
We are specifically advised in Proverbs 3:5-6 to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”
Friend, take a load off. Lean into God and find relief. When times are bad… lean into the wisdom, comfort and peace of your Heavenly Father. It may not always be easy, but it will ALWAYS be worth it! When times are good… lean into the joy and goodness of your Father. Hug him with your praise and celebrate the happiness in your day. That was his plan all along. He desires for us to have joy and love and peace in our lives. In this fallen world, we don’t always experience that, so when we do, let’s bring it to God and be grateful!
I will leave you with a few more questions to ponder. Consider it an internal housekeeping for the day, if you will.
How do I feel in the presence of the Lord? Do I speak with God everyday? Do I “lean into” him or upon my own understanding? Do I stand before him with my memory phrases of worship and daily “God To Do” list or do I have an emotional experience in his presence? Am I excited to tell him about my day, thank him for his provision and disconnect from everything else but that blessed moment alone with him?
I encourage you to lean into the Lord today. Lean in and feel his presence. Lean in and find relief. Lean in and celebrate your life with him. Whatever your circumstance, make it deeply personal with your Father. He desires so much to have a meaningful relationship with you. Yes...you!
Prayer Prompt: Father God, I desire to have a deep, meaningful relationship with you. Thank you for your patience with me, Abba. Thank you for continuing to love me and guide me. I choose to lean into you today Father. I am hugging your Spirit with my spirit. I find comfort in your presence. Help me to have the courage and wisdom to follow your ways all the days of my life, no matter the circumstance. You are worthy, Father. I honor you. I love you. I choose you! I will sit in silence and listen for your voice. Guide me. Lead me. Hold my hand as I walk through the rest of my day. In Jesus name… Amen.