I think that to "lean on Jesus" is to depend on Him and to rest upon Him. To lean on something or someone is to be supported by and/or sustained by that thing or person. My daughter is using crutches right now. Her leg hurts when she puts weight on it, making it difficult for her to walk independently. When she leans on the crutches and uses them to get around, her pain is not as great.
When she leans on the crutches, she relies on them. She trusts that they will hold her up. She believes that they will help her around.
And so it is with Jesus. But just like my daughter has to make a choice to pick up the crutches and use them to help her, so do we have to make the choice to depend on Jesus. We realize that we can not do it alone, and so we reach out and lean on the one who is fully trustworthy and will surely ease our pain.
Here are a few things that I have found to be helpful as I eagerly, desperately try to lean on Jesus:
1. Stay close to Him by spending time reading the Bible and asking the Lord to show you what is true about Him and true about you. Get to know Him through His Word and through quiet times of prayer. the more we know of Him and grow in an intimate relationship with Him, the more we can trust that He will hold us up.
2. Try to "let go" and "let God." Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." Picture yourself placing your cares in the palm of your hand (or hands, some days!) and not only hand them out to the Lord, but then turn your hands upside down so that they fall out of your hands, and into His. If we have dropped them out of our hands, they are harder to hold on to. And if we are not trying to holding on to so much, it will be easier for us to rest on the Lord. God does not guarantee that He will obliterate our problems, but He does promise to be with us, holding on to us, as we lean in to Him and hand over our cares.
3. Try not to look too far down the path but rather tell yourself, "Just for today ..." Sometimes this is all we can do. It is a daily, sometimes hourly, committment that we can make. Call out to the Lord and say,
Help me to trust you, Lord, and obey -- Just for today.
Help me to know when to rest and to stay -- Just for today.
Help me to know when to move, and to know in which way -- Just for today.
Help me to discern what to say -- Just for today.
Help me to do what is right without delay -- Just for today.
Help me to lean when I sway -- Just for today.
Perhaps it sounds simple, but I know it is not. It can be very hard, but I am confident that Jesus is waiting for us to lean in on Him, and in that He is there to support us and to sustain us. Fall back in to His everlasting, loving arms and He will be found strong and dependable.