Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

14 November 2009

More on Leaning Hard

November's Words of Encouragement was a poem called "Lean Hard." As I said at the time, it's a poem that was shared with me ten or more years ago by a very special friend. And it is a poem I have passed on to others many times. At the beginning of the month I posted it "Source Unknown," exactly as I have shared it so many times, because I didn't know who had penned it. I seem to recall that my friend read it to us from a book about a missionary - and that this missionary didn't seem to know who to ascribe it to either.

But one of life's mysteries has been solved. This very same friend who first shared this piece with me has discovered that it came from the pen of one Octavius Winslow.

And it turns out that it may not actually be a poem - although it reads like poetry - and that there is more to it than was first thought. A search on the internet has turned up a more complete text.

"Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you."
Psalm 55:22

It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord. Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier's spear! But you doubtingly ask, "Is the Lord able to do this thing for me ?" And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust. And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, "Cast your burden upon Me and I will sustain you. I am God Almighty. I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary, and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then, is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me! Child of My love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child! I shaped it—I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the encircling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My breast. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!"

As found at Grace Gems here.


Stephanie said...

What a comforting post. This "extended version" of our much loved poem points to the tremendous fact that the Lord Jesus has a profound ability to carry of all our present burdens and grief because he has actually already taken them upon himself on the cross. Thankyou for the reminder, sweet Meredith.

Meredith said...

I hope you weren't too disappointed that it does appear to be prose. I'm still going to regard it as poetry - and continue to share it in its poetic form.

God bless you sweet Steph. You remain in my prayers.

stnicholaschurchhull said...

How great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, who raised up men such as these, to comfort and encourage us in these evil days, Oh that He would but raise such men today, preachers of righteousness and the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the Lord who daily bears our burdens (Ps 68:19 WEB)

Meredith said...

Amen to that.
Thanks for dropping by to visit.