Howdy Friends! “Propping up his leaning side.”

A pastor of a small church would occasionally call on a gentleman to pray, and every time this one particular fellow would pray, he would end with this statement, “And, oh Lord, prop us up on our leaning side.”

Finally, the pastor pulled him aside, and he said, “I love the way you pray. But I don’t understand your closing phrase. What are you talking about – prop us up on our leaning side?”

The fellow smiled. “Well, Pastor, I’m a farmer. I live out on the farm and, you know, I live way out in the country. I’ve got this old barn, and it’s been there a long time. It’s been through a lot of weather, and a lot of storms, and a lot of bugs have eaten away at it.”

He continued. “I got to looking at it one day, and I noticed that old barn was leaning to one side. So I thought to myself, oh my goodness! The barn is leaning, and it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing falls.”

He went on, “So, you know what I did? I went and got some pine beams, and I propped it up on its leaning side.”

He paused then went on. “It still leans, and probably always will. But I propped it up on its leaning side. And it’s not going to fall down because I propped it up on its leaning side.”

He gave the pastor a smile. “I got to thinking about it one day when I was on the tractor. I was raking hay in my big field, and thinking over the kind of year I’d had, and some of the storms I’ve been through, and some of the people who are bugging me, and eating away at my joy and eating away at my spirit. And I just got to thinking, you know, I’m still here! I’m still standing after all that stuff I’ve been through. The storms, and the howling winds, the bothersome people – they couldn’t topple me. I’m still standing by the grace of God.”

He concluded with a chuckle. “From time to time, I find myself leaning. Leaning toward my old desires, leaning toward anger. Leaning toward becoming bitter or hateful at the people who are bugging me, or leaning toward going back to the old habits and the old life I used to have. And when I feel myself start to lean toward that tendency, I just remember that old barn of mine, and I pray out loud – “Lord, thank you for propping me up on the leaning side.”

~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

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