Musings

Just Be Held

At the right moment, a song reaches deep inside and seizes your soul. This moment happened to me last year shortly after the death of my second-born, Joshua. After a tear-filled grocery shopping experience, I sat in my car, the world weighing on my shoulders. As soon as I turned on the ignition, the song “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns played on the radio. It was the first of many intense meetings with God that would follow the first year after my son’s homegoing.

Every word in “Just Be Held” felt as if it were written specifically for me.

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on

At these words, I sobbed uncontrollably. I’d been Joshua’s full-time caregiver for six and a half years since his rare neurodegenerative disease diagnosis. Children’s Hospital Colorado became our second home. Doctor visits, therapies, surgeries, and hospital stays were the norm. I also became my husband’s caregiver after a 2019 car wreck. On top of this, I struggled with homeschooling my four children, dealing with my youngest son’s medical issues, navigating my eldest’s autism, and trying to keep house while battling chronic illness.

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

Over the past eight years, I’ve struggled mightily with anxiety. I’d come to expect and dread the inevitable. If it wasn’t the deaths of family members, bankruptcy, nearly losing my mom twice, appliances breaking down, or totaling our just-paid-for car due to a deer encounter, it was something else. Control of the larger picture was out of my grasp, so I held onto the little things, anything I could control. However, control is both a chain and a burden.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

I’m a stubborn creature. The Children of Israel spent forty years wandering in the desert, grumbling, failing to trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God. I could tell a hundred stories of God’s faithfulness in my life and let my anxiety run amok in the next breath. I am the Children of Israel. This day, as He often does, God sovereignly moved. He reminded me of who He is.

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

One thing I’ve learned amidst all the trials is keeping perspective. I endure, grow, and thrive by focusing on Christ and embracing gratitude and contentment. It’s not easy to face the fires of affliction. Too often, I fail, letting anxiety and fear consume me. Even then, God refines me, picks me up, embraces me, and sets me back on the right path. His love for me keeps me moving when otherwise I’d quit.

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Romans 8:28 says: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” God’s purpose is that we conform to Christ’s image. How does one grow if there is no testing? I’m not the same person I was ten, five, or even one year ago. With every trial, I realize the sinfulness of my sin and the holiness and beauty of Christ. I can speak of God’s goodness and sovereignty, His work in my life, and my compassion for others grow.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

C. H. Spurgeon said, “To trust God in the light is nothing, but trust Him in the dark – that is faith.” Every trial stretches our faith. For a moment, we may find ourselves doubting, overcome with fear. However, we can lay our burden down when we recognize God for who He is. You don’t need to carry it any longer. I don’t need to carry it any longer. We serve a mighty sovereign God. He loves us and is conforming us to Christ’s image. Every hardship is a gospel opportunity. It is growth and change.

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

I’ve learned to see God’s providence in everything. Tracing His hand doesn’t usually happen at the moment but in hindsight. Sometimes I feel like Peter in Matthew 14:22-23. I see Christ and walk toward Him, but at once, I let fears assail me, and I begin to sink. Although anxiety is still commonplace, God is patient with me and lifts me. Every trial, every hardship, I seek the face of the One who loves me. He is more beautiful to me now than ever. I can’t fathom a life without Him.

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held (stop holding on)
Just be held, just be held

Just be held, just be held

I want to encourage you, my dear reader, to stop and lay your burden down. Look up to the One who loves you, who calls you by name. He is working in you and through you. God bless you as you journey toward the long tomorrow.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Just Be Held (Official Lyric Video)

C. L. Stansberry is a Christian speculative fiction writer and blogger with a desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of the people.

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