Who is this coming up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved? I awakened you under the apple tree. There your mother brought you forth; there she who bore you brought you forth (Song of Solomon 8:5).

 

Context:

A pastor of a small church would occasionally call on one gentleman to pray, and every time this one particular guy would pray, he would pray, “Oh God, thank you for this word today, and bless these people today.” Then he would end with the strangest statement, “And, oh God, oh Lord, prop us up on our leaning side.”  Every time the preacher would call on him, he’d pray, “Oh Lord, prop us up on our leaning side.” 

 

Finally, the pastor pulled him aside, and he said, “I love the way you pray, but I don’t understand your little closing phrase.  What are you talking about – prop us up on our leaning side?” He responded, “Well, Pastor, I’m a farmer.  I live out on the farm and, you know, I live in the country.  I’ve got an old barn, and it’s been there a long time.  It’s been through a lot of weather, and a lot of storms, and a lot of bugs have eaten at it.” He said, “I got to looking at it one day when I was riding on my tractor, and I noticed that it was leaning to one side.  So I thought to myself, oh my goodness!  The barn is leaning, and it’s a matter of time before the whole thing falls. 

 

He continued, “So, you know what I did?  I went and got some pine beams, and I propped it up on its leaning side.”  He said, “It still leans, and probably always will. But I propped it up on its leaning side.  And it’s not going to fall down because I propped it up on its leaning side. And I got to thinking about it. When I was on the tractor, Pastor, and I was riding in the field, I thought about the kind of year I’ve had, and some of the storms I’ve been through, and some of the people that are bugging me, and eating away at my joy and eating away at my spirit.  And I just got to thinking, you know, I’m still here!  I’m still standing after all that stuff I’ve been through.  The storms, and the howling winds – they couldn’t topple me.  I’m still standing by the grace of God.”

 

He concluded, “From time to time, I find myself leaning.  Leaning toward my old desires, leaning toward anger, leaning toward becoming bitter or hateful at the people who are bugging me, or leaning toward going back to the old habits and the old life I used to have.  And when I feel myself start leaning toward that tendency, I just remember that old barn, and I pray out loud on my tractor – “Lord, I thank you that you’re going to prop me up on my leaning side.””

 

Connection Questions

  1. We have to lean on Jesus. It seems like the world is in a wilderness.  Economically, politically, spiritually. We are the sons and daughters of God, and it’s time for us to shine.  The darker the world gets, the brighter the stars shine. We have to lean on Jesus.

 

Q: Is there a part of your life, right now, that is in need of help to “prop” it up to keep it from falling down?

 

  1. God knows how to bring people-props who can prop you up on your leaning side.

 

Q: Who has been a “propping up” person in your life?

 

  1. God can use you to prop someone else up on THEIR leaning side.

 

Q: Who have you “propped up” recently?

 

Q: Can you think of someone right now who could use some propping up?

 

  1. The Holy Spirit is the one who props us up on our leaning side when we start to lean toward hatred and unforgiveness.  When we start to lean toward weakness or addiction or when we start to lean toward backsliding and going back, The Holy Spirit is the one who props us up on our leaning side.

 

Q: How comfortable are you with simply having a conversation with the Holy Spirit as if he is right there in the room with you?  Is He?

 

  1. You just have to keep your hands up if you want to win. You have to keep loving Him and worshipping Him, no matter what’s happening in your life.  Don’t ever let the enemy take your joy, or your worship, or your praise.  Don’t ever let circumstances in this temporal world decide whether or not your hands are raised in worship and adoration to your king.

 

Q: How do you intentionally ‘worship’ when you are not in church? Do you? Why or why not and how?