Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


Previous Day

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Next Day

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
what a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, (Leaning on Jesus, leaning on Jesus,)
safe and secure from all alarms;
leaning, leaning, (leaning on Jesus, leaning on Jesus,)
leaning on the everlasting arms.

Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
leaning on the everlasting arms;
oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
leaning on the everlasting arms.  (Refrain)

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
leaning on the everlasting arms.  (Refrain)

I grew up in a Lutheran parsonage. My father had been the church organist in Youngstown, Ohio, when he was in the eighth grade. His goal in life was to become a concert pianist, but then he felt the call to become a pastor. I am sure that his choice of hymns on Sunday mornings measured up to the highest Swedish Lutheran standards, but I grew up dreading the heavy and boring hymnody. When someone suggested that in heaven we would be singing 24/7, I had little desire to leave this earth.

My fourth grade teacher, Annie Hawes, was cranky and punitive in the classroom, but she was a Methodist outside of school. She urged me to go to their Sunday evening songfests at city hall. I couldn't believe that church folk could sing like that. One song they sang again and again was, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." They would even lean back and forth when they sang, "Leaning, leaning."

I have broadened my appreciation of good hymnody since by boyhood years, but I still love to sing, "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." I am reminded that my God is authentic, that God can be trusted in every circumstance of life, that God is so real that I can lean on Him/Her.

Heavenly Father, I am leaning on you today. Do not let go! Amen.

Hubert Nelson
Eden Prairie, Minn.
Master of Divinity , 1962

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.