Lean In, Lean On

While we draw closer to God through prayer as we open ourselves and our lives up to Him, it very quickly becomes clear how we are similarly needful of close relationships within the body of Christ as the human extension of His love for us.
Christ has uniquely gifted some within the church to be able to welcome, to sympathize, and generally speaking to come alongside others and “live life together.” The comfort and encouragement of a kind word and a shoulder to lean on have lifted the spirits of many who would have otherwise faced life’s challenges alone.
The old hymn Leaning on the Everlasting Arms celebrates the comfort and assurance of God’s everlasting arms that cover and protect us (see Deuteronomy 33:27). In many ways, the hymn is also a picture of the joy and comfort others in our fellowships demonstrate as they exercise their gifts to minister within—and without—the body of Christ.
Where would we be without the assurance provided by those who come alongside us?
Without that comfort, without that loving touch, many of us would languish and feel God may not care about us; we may withdraw from the fellowship we so vitally need with Him—and with others in Christ.
We must not allow ourselves to withdraw or separate ourselves from those very relationships provided within the body of Christ. For just as we need the loving touch of care and concern, we are called upon to offer the encouragement of Christ to those we come alongside.
Have you fostered an interdependence with others who call upon the name of Christ and gather in His name? Have you been called to come alongside others to comfort and encourage?
As a part of the body of Christ, your “everlasting arms” may be just what someone needs today. Answer that call and extend His love and be His “everlasting arms.”

For more information about how you can “stay the course,” refer to The Wheel illustration here.
The Fellowship Spoke—See Matthew 18:20; Hebrews 10:24-25. God has directed Christians to build each other up through interdependence and loving relationships with one another (Hebrews 10:24-25). Gathering together as the body of Christ draws God close around us as we praise Him and encourage each other (Matthew 18:20).