By Tracie Miles

“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.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Today’s P31 Radio Show

Interested in God using you in an amazing way to help others feel “held” by God? Click over to Tracie’s blog today to find out how.

Reinventing Your Rainbow, by Tracie Miles

Application Steps:
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?

Power Verses:
Psalm 73:23, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional spoke to my heart this morning. My family's needs are never far from my thoughts. I lift them to the Lord all day and yet, sometimes still feel burdened by the weight of worry. Throughout the week I have been reminded by reading the Bible, going to Bible study, songs on the radio (I Will Praise You in this Storm), a friend, a pastor and a prayer warrior that God is in control. He loves me. He loves each member of my family. I can trust Him to care for them and be there for them. "Trust God, not man." Psalm 118 was even the scripture in the daily newspaper this morning. I am so thankful to God for putting this message in your mind and for you sharing it this day. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for the devotional this morning, it smoted my soul and heart this is just what i needed.

Blogger Wanita said...

Tracie, thank you for your devotional and the reminder that God is always holding our loved ones in His arms. My mom has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home. She will be 90 yrs. old next week, and I can't understand why she has to go through so many difficulties. Your words were just what I needed today as my heart has been heavy because of seeing my Mom go through this disease. Thank you for sharing your story.

Blogger ~ Katie ~ said...

Thank you so much for that wonderful devotional. I just recently found this blog, and I have enjoyed it everyday. I was wondering if it would be okay to post on my own blog today's devotional? It really tells exactly how I feel about my brother and his fight with cancer.
Thank you again!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God uses so many things to teach me so much and amongst them is this blog - Proverbs 31 Ministries. Thank you for being an avenue of healing, peace, godliness and hope.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

embedded in God's word is His assurance of being there for us,though when faced with difficult situations of life atimes our faith could be threatened.We constantly keep reminding ourselves of his word in Psalms37:3-6,Ish43.keep saying it!!!the WORD WORKS!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son passed away last year aged 6 from a terminal illness. I have constantly been held by the Lord and his children through that time. Although I've heard Natalie's song before - this devotional made me go and listen properly. Since Regan died I have not been brave enough to cry as I thought I wouldn't be able to stop. Listening to Natalie's beautiful haunting lyrics, which I might add seem to be written JUST for me - I allowed myself to cry, in peace, unendingly, knowing I'm held.
Thank you for so deeply touching me, I give thanks for you and your Proverbs 31 Daily Devotions.
Praise God for leading me to you - you've blessed my socks off!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so touched and moved by this devotional. I lost my grandmother who was like a mother to me a few months ago. I have other family members that are ill. After reading and meditating on this devotional my spirit felt lead to share it with some of my co-workers. I have only been at this job for a few weeks so I don't know all the staff well. I sent it to all the ones I knew and had at least meet once and not sure how they would take to me sending a christian message. Later I was contacted by a few of them on how the devotional touched them. It was also forwarded to around 20 more people. I thought how cool it was that God could touch so many by one act of obedence. I also replied to the ones who wrote me and gave them the link to your site.

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