Leaning on God is not something that comes naturally in this world we live in. I like things to be perfectly in my control; I’m a planner, and I would rather have things fall perfectly in place.

But, the thing is, things don’t always fall into place.

Sometimes, a family member gets a diagnosis that we don’t want. Sometimes. We lose our jobs. Sometimes, our school situations change. Sometimes, our plans fall through in general. But here’s the thing: this is where leaning on God is of paramount importance. We shouldn’t be so wrapped up in what negative things are going on that we forget to lean on the God who loves us more than we can imagine.

So, what does it really mean to lean on Him?

It means that we keep scripture in our hearts.

I love the passage from Psalm 119: “I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11 ESV). I love this passage because it emphasizes the psalmist’s desire to keep God’s Word close to his chest, so to speak.

But wait, you might be asking me, How could he have had scripture yet? The Bible wasn’t complete in the Old Testament? You’re right. It wasn’t. But they still had records of what God did for them in Moses’ days, so they knew of what God’s commands were, and they wanted to keep those commandments in mind at all times. The Psalmist declares this intent to the Lord here, and so should we in our own hearts. We can do so by turning to His Word and reading scripture that instructs, counsels, and comforts us.

Cast your cares on Him

I also love this passage: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-8 ESV).

This passage has definitely helped me in times when I’ve felt totally out of control, whatever the situation, no matter how significant. And I recommend this passage to friends who are feeling a similar way. God wants us to cast our cares on Him; from the beginning, He has wanted to help us in this fallen world, from the time Adam and Eve were given skins to wear after their fall (Genesis 3:21)  to the crucifixion of His Son.

All in all, He is there for us, and we can lean on Him anytime.

Finally, trust, even when it’s hard.

This goes back to casting cares, but there’s a reason why Solomon emphasizes trust in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (ESV).

Trust is another thing that doesn’t come naturally to many. We worry so much about our own safety and our own preferences that sometimes, it’s hard to exit our little happy bubbles and step out of our comfort zones to try something new or face our fears. I know I’ve definitely felt that way before about many things in my life, whether it’s been related to me or any worries I’ve had about loved ones. But I can rest assured that God has everyone in His hands, and that all things work together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

In my experience, this is what it means to lean on God: leaning on His Word, entrusting my cares to Him, and trusting Him no matter what. In this fallen world, we need all the hope we can get. I could not be more thankful to have His grace, mercy, and strength to carry me through good times and bad. I pray the same for you, dear reader.

By Savannah Cottrell