August 7, 2008
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.” Psalm 18:16 (NIV)
When my daughter was just a toddler, I would frequently ask her, “Do you want me to hold you?” She would promptly nod and lift up her arms. Even though her vocabulary was limited, she soon learned that anytime she wanted to be picked up, she could simply raise her arms, look at me with those big, blue eyes, and say “hold you.” It was such a precious request in her sweet little voice, and I would always oblige. Those days seem long ago, as my daughter will be starting high school this year, but these memories came to mind when I heard the song by Natalie Grant, entitled “Held.”
Years ago, my sister was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Many times since then I have found myself pleading to God for her healing, or at a minimum, for an understanding of this hardship. During one of these times of doubt and worry, the song “Held” flooded my radio speakers. The words pierced my heart, and I would pray for my sweet sister each time I heard it, as God repeatedly comforted me with Natalie’s words.
The lyrics of the song say, “Who told us we’d be rescued? What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares? We’re asking why this happens. To us, who have died to live. It’s unfair.” You see, that is exactly how I felt. My sister loved the Lord, and I thought God should be taking better care of her. I doubted His reasons for her illness. I continually cried out to Him, questioning why she had to be sick. Why did she have to suffer? It ‘s not fair Lord!
The chorus of the song goes like this, “This is what it means to be held. How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life. And you survive. This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we’d be held.” Through this simple song, God reassured me that His ways are not for me to understand, but I can trust that He loves my sister, His child, and is holding her close. Every time I heard that song, my heart would flutter, and I would be gently reminded that God sees her, and loves her, despite the circumstances.
Recently, her health condition worsened, and she was scheduled for a serious surgery. I left early in the morning the day of the surgery, and headed for the hospital. I was worried, and my heart was burdened. I breathed in a heavy sigh, and turned on the radio, and what was playing? “Held.” The words washed over my soul as tears came to my eyes, and a peace came over me. I knew that song was God’s way of reminding me that He was still holding her tightly in His arms. It was only then, that I knew she would be okay. After a successful surgery and twelve hours at the hospital, I got in my car to go home, and turned on the radio – you guessed it – “Held” was playing again. God was there.
If you are like me, despite our level of faith, there are times in life when we doubt if God is really watching over us or our loved ones. We question why things happen that seem unfair. We wonder what glory He could possibly derive from painful circumstances.
It takes great faith to believe that God does understand, and He wants us to know that He is always there. A song on the radio, a note from a loved one, a smile from a stranger, a powerful sermon, an applicable Bible verse. God could use any method to reassure us of His love, and His omnipotence, and His desire is to hold you and me close to His heart. We merely need to raise up our arms, look into His eyes, and say “hold you”. He will.
Dear Lord, my heart is so burdened with worry for my loved ones. Please pull me into Your presence, and help me to feel Your arms around me. Forgive me for my doubts and lack of faith. Please help me to see how You are holding those who are hurting, and continue to reassure me of your sovereignty. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For more on this topic, visit Tracie Miles’ blog
Consider situations where you are struggling with worry and doubt. Ask God to reassure you of His presence in the situation.
Have I asked God to hold me during my times of doubt, worry and pain?
Do I need to make a new commitment to trust God in all situations?
Psalm 73:23, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 07 August 2008.