Lean hard.

This summer, our oldest daughter led our family through a cleaning out and reorganizing of every drawer and file and nook and cranny of our home. At her urging, image001we poured through years of accumulated memorabilia, and in the process I came across long-forgotten notes and cards from old friends.

One of those notes, from one of my dearest and oldest, held a long-hidden treasure —  a photocopied slip of a poem she said I’d actually given to her many years earlier. I didn’t remember the moment or the poem, but as I read with eyes now decades more mature, I wished I’d memorized the truth-fortifying words all those years ago.  With each phrase,  I marveled again at God’s attentive and unwavering care for His children.

I include the poem here. If you’ve not read it before, pray that God will use Octavius Winslow’s beautiful words to convince you of His steadfast love and tender concern for you, no matter your current burden.


Child of My love, lean hard, and let Me feel the pressure of thy care.

I know thy burden, child; I shaped it, poised in Mine own hand, made no proportion in its weight to thine 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 circling arms of Mine own love.”

Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of the worlds. Yet closer come, thou art not near enough; I would embrace thy care, so I might feel My child reposing on My breast.

Thou lovest Me? I know it. Doubt not, then, but, loving Me, lean hard.


I want to return to this re-discovered poem, absorbing and believing His rich love for me. Return with me? Soak in the beauty of your Father’s sure design for you, His treasured child. Then, draw closer to Him who upholds the government of the worlds. Determine to lean hard into His circling arms.

For you can never come too close.

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you …” (Psalm 55:22)


Poem from Christ’s Sympathy to Weary Pilgrims, by Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)


About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and work as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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7 Responses to Lean hard.

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  5. Laura says:

    I can hear your words…”embrace the baggage”. Thank you:)

    • Jill says:

      We want to quit leaning, don’t we?! An/or, smother the neediness somehow! Ah yes, embracing the baggage drives us to Him, though — to best and only place to be.

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