The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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     Eighteen-year-old D.J. was a contestant on a recent episode of American Idol. The sixth of ten children, D.J. shared how the negative, critical, and condemning manner with which her mom had treated her and her siblings made them believe and feel that they were worthless. She also reported how her mother’s abrupt departure from the family left everyone confused yet somewhat relieved.
     Accompanying herself on the piano, D.J. sang an original composition entitled “Scars” through which she questioned how a mom could be OK with leaving scars on her children, leaving hearts broken, and leaving a family in pain. As D.J. began singing, I marveled at the strength and resiliency on display.  The words and tone of the song highlighted her emotional scars. Overcome with such emotion, D.J. broke down sobbing during her performance.

     As D.J. attempted to regain her composure, one of the judges invited D.J.’s father to come into the room. While holding her close, he whispered how proud he was of her and how much he loved her. After receiving an encouraging hug from her dad, D.J. sat down on the piano bench and presented her song in splendid fashion. Watching the exchange between father and daughter produced tears in the eyes of the judges and reminded me of the words of a song that I learned years ago entitled “Lean on Me.”

When no one cared about me, if I should live or die,

And no one bothered asking, so I’d go alone and cry.

When burdens got too heavy, that I could not face the day,

I’d feel His arms around me and I’d hear Him gently say…

Lean on Me, when you have no strength to stand,

When you feel you’re going under, hold tighter to My hand.

Lean on Me, when your heart begins to bleed,

When you come to the place that I’m all you have, then you’ll find I’m all you need.

     In the Bible, God’s love is presented and described as “gracious, constant, steadfast, faithful, and unfailing” (Exodus 34:6; Psalm 31:16, 32:10, 33:5, 36:7, 86:13, etc.), strong enough to resist any opposing force seeking to separate us from Him (Romans 8:35+), and capable of driving out all fear (1 John 4:18). Love comes from God (1 John 4:7) and the love that is from God “…always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (and) “never fails” (1 Cor. 13:7-8a). Why? Because “GOD IS LOVE” (1 John 4:16).  
     Therefore, when you are “hard pressed on every side…perplexed…persecuted…(and) struck down” remember that you are “not crushed…not in despair…not abandoned…(and) not destroyed” (2 Cor.4:8-9) because God is love and His love never fails. David Will highlighted this truth through a song entitled “Jesus Never Fails” the chorus of which is:
Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails
You might as well get thee behind me Satan, you will not prevail,
Because Jesus never fails.

     Thank you Lord for your love that never fails and never gives up and never runs out on me! When I am discouraged and downtrodden, may I lean on you and hold tighter to your hand while experiencing encouragement and peace from your love that is deep and vast beyond all measure. Thank you for loving me in such a way that you would give your only Son to die for me so that I might have abundant and eternal life through Him! Amen.