I awoke from my afternoon nap to discover our black cat pressed into my side, sleeping. Chloe had edged her way into the curve of my waist to absorb as much human warmth as possible. It reminded me of our four-year-old. Often, early in the morning, he’ll press up beside me really tightly. By pushing into my side he receives the love and closeness he requires.
Such simple moves towards love convey our most basic needs. And the more we love someone the more we pursue them, leaning in to what they have to offer. There is nothing passive about the pursuit of affection and intimacy. We crave it and we actively take steps to find it.
The Amplified version of the Bible offers some descriptions of leaning on God, which I enjoyed discovering:
“Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.” (Psalm 143:8 AMP)
“And they who know Your name will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10 AMP)
“Commit your way to the Lord ; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5 AMP)
I have been through seasons of distancing myself from my loving God, and seasons of drawing myself close. I have questioned his trustworthiness at times, yet time and time again he has proven completely faithful. He has shown me the way I should go as I’ve walked beside him, pressing in.
We may tire of a baby who pushes their body into us in the early hours of the morning, resenting the sleep disturbance. But God is never bothered by our closeness. He delights in our desire of him. He wholeheartedly offers warmth and care and intimacy to his beloved children who seek to delight in him and all that he offers. He’s our vital life source and he loves when we acknowledge that.
And when we have all we need in Jesus Christ, unhealthy striving for the attention of others ceases. Instead, we receive gladly the ‘gifts’ (people) he provides us, with thankfulness, from an already full heart.
Why not have a listen to the classic song, Lean on me, courtesy of the Glee singers: