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Weekend Service Times: 8:30am • 9:45am & 11:00am

100 W. Albany St. | Broken Arrow, OK | 918-258-4575

A Devotional:

Lean on Me

“For You are my hope, Lord God, my confidence from my youth. I have leaned on You from birth.”

– Psalms 71:5-6

Derek Redmond trained for four years to compete in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Before his first race began, he tore his Achilles tendon and didn’t even start the race. So he trained for four more years and breezed through his first two heats of the Barcelona Olympic Games. As he lined up for the semi-final heat, he felt good. He had won his first two heats barely breaking a sweat. At the sound of the gun, he was off and in control. About one-third of the way around, he heard a pop and then felt searing pain behind his knee. Derek recounts the experience:

“The pain was intense. I hobbled about 50m until I was at the 200m mark. Then I realized it was all over. I looked around and saw that everyone else had crossed the finishing line. But I don’t like to give up at anything –and I decided I was going to finish that race if it was the last race I ever did.

All these doctors and officials were coming onto the track, trying to get me to stop but I was having none of it. Then, with about 100m to go, I became aware of someone else on the track. I didn’t realize it was my dad, Jim, at first. He said, “Derek, it’s me, you don’t need to do this.”

I just said, “Dad, I want to finish, get me back in the semi-final.” He said, “OK. We started this thing together and now we’ll finish it together.”

He managed to get me to stop trying to run and just walk and he kept repeating, “You’re a champion, you’ve got nothing to prove.”

We hobbled over the finishing line with our arms around each other, just me and my dad…”

Have you ever had to lean on someone…I mean really lean on them? Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by your circumstances that you didn’t think you could go on, and then someone offered to let you lean on them? Offered support and encouragement and gave you the courage to continue? That is what the word “encourage” means…to instill courage so the journey can continue, regardless of what that journey may happen to be.

The Psalmist needed courage and found strength in his relationship with the Heavenly Father. He put it this way, “I have leaned on you from birth.” We have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, a friend on whom we can lean on in any circumstance, at any time, any place.

My friend Gary Mathena wrote a song about that. His lyrics have been an encouragement to me through many difficult circumstances.

When no one cared about me if I should live or die, 
and no one bothered asking why I’d go alone and cry. 
When burdens got so heavy that I could not face the day, 
then I’d feel His arms around me and I’d hear Him gently say, 

“Lean on Me when you have no strength to stand. 
When you feel you’re goin’ under, hold tighter to my hand. 
Lean on me when your heart begins to bleed when you come to the place that I’m all you have, you’ll find I’m all you need.

Lean on Him. Today. Right now. The Lord is there for you.

Pray: “Father, thank You for allowing me to lean on You, not just through difficult circumstances, but all the time. I trust Your heart to allow what is best for me, and I trust You to give me the strength and the courage to face any trial with confidence. Thank You for being my Heavenly Father, and for loving me in any and every situation.”

John Gage
Retired Worship Pastor
First Baptist Broken Arrow

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