February 15

Reflect on John Stallings’ “Learning to Lean”

“Let Go and Let God.

Now sounds like a cliché, it still is a proper word of encouragement. While there’s no doubt we’re strong and our spirit’s versatile, we’re still humans. We have limitations and we’ll need someone or something dependable to lean on. Of course, for us Christians, that would be our Lord. We can try to live independently from him, but tell me, has that worked before? Honest answer?

If you’re like me, leaning on somebody will feel difficult. I’ve been used to being independent and self-reliant for a long time. Hence, it’s hard to rely on another source of strength. I don’t know if that’s just how it is when you’re young. You’re very idealistic and will not settle for anything less than your expectations on how life should be. Gradually, I’ve learned to lean on Jesus. And that begins in letting go of ‘control’ be it with time, people you’ll live and be around with and your desired outcomes for works done.

Surprisingly, I’ve come to discover that I’ve come out stronger. That said, listen to Stalling’s beautiful composition below.

“Learning to Lean” by the Blackwood Brothers Quartet

The Songwriter

Reflect on John Stallings’ “Learning to Lean” 1
John Stallings

Altamonte Springs, Florida

He’s a traveling evangelist and a veteran pastor. He started singing at age 6 and by the time he reached 16, he’s already a preacher. He wrote more than 180 songs in his lifetime. Fifty of which were published.

Among notable singers to record his songs were Bill Gaither, Kenneth Copeland, George Beverly Shea, and Jeannie C. Riley. These not including choirs, quartets, and other singing groups.

The Song

It won the Nashville’s Dove award for- Song of the year in 1977. Come 1980’s, it started appearing on prominent hymnals and church songbooks. Among them were African American Heritage Hymnal, Hymns of Faith, Rejoice Hymns and The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship.


Blackwood Brothers, gospel, Quartets, songwriters

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