Yesterday, on Good Friday, as I listened to the radio in my car, a song came on by Casting Crowns. The title is “Just Be Held.”
When I first heard that song, I cried. (I wrote about that in a previous blog on August 30, 2015.) So often in my life, I wanted to be held, but it seemed there was no one there—at least no one human—who understood my pain and grief or who cared about me deeply enough to hold me.
At times the people in my life have seemed incapable of holding me because they had their own grief and sorrow. Sometimes that grief and sorrow caused them to think I was the enemy because of twisted thinking and attacks from the true enemy of their souls.
Once again I was reminded of the good news of this song: God is always available to hold me.
But then the thought of Jesus on the cross came. I thought of Him holding people before He went to the cross. He held Mary and Martha as they grieved the death of their brother, Lazarus, before Jesus raised Him from the dead. He held the little children who came to Him. I imagined He held Peter when He talked to Him after Peter denied Him three times. I know there were scores of other times He held people that are not recorded in Scripture.
In my mind, I saw Jesus on the cross with His arms held far apart. How could He hold anyone then? My next thought was that because of what happened on the cross, and His holding or carrying all my sins there, this opened the door to my feeling held by Him.
I also thought that even on the cross He held people—maybe not literally, but figuratively–with the kind words He said to them. To those crucifying Him, He held them tenderly when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34. And to the criminal next to Him, He held him when He said, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 NIV
I also thought of Jesus and the words He cried out to the Father, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. Was that the only time in all of Jesus’ existence that He did not sense being held by the Father? No wonder it hurt so much, and He felt forsaken.
Today, I am celebrating that at any given moment of the day, I can sense being held by my Savior. Over the years He has made up for the times as a child and as an adult where I longed to be held, and there were no human arms to wrap themselves around me and comfort me and speak tender words to my soul. He has healed the hurt of the times when only angry words came from those in my circle, and instead of drawing me close to be held, they pushed me away.
Today I’m also thinking about all those who long to be held and have no one. I think of the mentally ill that I work with. Often, I feel led to hug them and think, “When was the last time this person was hugged or held?” So many tell me that those in their lives have rejected them because of mental illness. But the good news for them is that God will never reject them. He wants to hold them and even heal them.
As I studied the art work I found today of Jesus holding the lamb on His shoulders, I thought of the Scripture verse that talks about Jesus leaving the 99 to look for the lost sheep. (See Matthew 18:12-14) When He found the sheep, He held him. He didn’t want him to wander off again.
The amazing part of being held by Jesus is that because of His infinite nature, we can all be held by Him at the same time and yet feel like the only one.
Many people—even Christians—tell me that they never have had the sense of being held by God. This song by Casting Crowns sends out the invitation to “Just Be Held.” I’ve learned I need to move closer to God for this to happen. I need to remove the obstacles that are in the way such as believing the lie, “I’m not worthy,” or “I’m not good enough.” I need to have faith to “come near to God,” so He can “come near” to me and hold me and comfort me. (See James 4:8)
Too many times in hard times, I draw away from God. But as I’ve learned to draw near and allow Him to hold me, my life has been transformed. I realize at this moment that one of the times I feel held by God is when I read His Word and know that His precious promises there apply to me, and when I see how they have come to pass in my life.
Today, because of the present hard issues in my life, I choose to be held by God. I choose to close my eyes and imagine His arms around me. And when a person holds me, I choose to believe He sent that person. What joy there is in being held by the Lord.
How about you? When was the last time you felt yourself being held by the Lord? Will this be the day that for the first time or the first time in a long time that you choose to just be held? Let go and let it happen. Joy will follow.
I pray for each and every one of you a joyful Easter day, celebrating that Jesus is risen from the dead and because of that we can be held by Him and spend eternity with Him.
If you don’t know Jesus as Savior, click this link to read about how I came to salvation: https://elainecreasman.wordpress.com/a-love-that-never-fails/
“Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns