Holding On….

not aloneLast weekend, I was stressing over what to sing Monday night for our church’s first prison ministry service, Operation Grace. I just could not figure out which song to sing. I sing in church fairly often, but never before at a jail. For some reason, the usual type songs I sing just didn’t really seem to be right for this event. Brandon often picks out songs for me to sing at church. All last weekend, he kept asking which song I would sing. I would settle on one, and then change my mind. Finally, Sunday night I thought I had picked the perfect one. Oddly enough, though it wasn’t hard, I just couldn’t get it together… but hard-headed as I am, I was determined to sing it anyway. I mean, I had determined that the words were just perfect.

Brandon knew that I was frustrated. So, around lunch-time Monday, he called me and said, “Look up the song ‘Just Be Held’. I think it would be good.” To tell you the truth, I almost didn’t even listen to it. I mean, I only had a scant few hours, between running carpool, driving back and forth from Greenwood to Vaiden, dealing with baseball practice etc… how in the world would that work out with so little time to practice? Long story short, I pulled up the lyrics before I did anything else. The words really spoke to my heart, in fact they both convicted me and encouraged me. Maybe they would help someone else that night. I downloaded the music, and did the best I could with it in a limited time. One of the inmates that night told me that the words really did move him, and he asked me if it came on the radio so he could hear it again.

The service that night was such a blessing to me. I have noticed that oftentimes when I set out to minister to others it is I who really ends up with the blessing. Daniel did an awesome job leading the worship music. Shannon sang one of my favorite songs. Mrs. Jo played her keyboard beautifully – as always. John did a wonderful job leading things, and what marvelous testimonies Mr. Orr and Mr. Horace shared with all of us! I looked around the room and was overwhelmed with the love of Christ that was being shared. So many of our church members were there that night. They could have been anywhere – at home resting, watching TV, or doing anything else on a Monday night. They were there, at the jail, ministering to the inmates and helping to be the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus.

I over-think many things. Sometimes, I figure that is why it is so hard for me to choose songs to sing, or which direction a Sunday School lesson should take. I’ll spend so much time, analyzing each lyric, or thinking out different paths that sometimes I forget that it isn’t MY power and authority that I am to operate under. I am to allow the Lord to work through me, by surrendering my will, thoughts and ideas for His. Every now and then, I just work myself nearly to death on something before it hits me in the head that my works are never ever going to be good enough. I have to get out of the way and let Him take over.

Likewise, during the storms in life there have been times when I was clinging on to the Lord with a white-knuckle grip. Praying, begging, holding on with all I had. Think of how hard it is to hold on to something or someone when it is dependent on YOU to do the holding. It’s just work work work! Sometimes it will lead to panic. What if your grip slips? What if they don’t want you to hold them? What happens if you let go?

As believers, we should seek Him and hold fast to his word, but even better… we can trust the Lord to hold on to us! We may not be strong enough to hold on to something, but He is strong enough to do anything. With Him, nothing is impossible. The words to this song reminded me that the Lord holds us. Scripture tells me that He will never let me go. Jesus said in John 10:27-30, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” Also, in Matthew 11:28-30 I am reminded that rest and peace comes from the Lord. Jesus said, “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Sometimes we just need to rest in His Love and be held by Him.

These verses and hundreds of others give Christians peace, comfort, hope and assurance. The “peace of God with passeth all understanding” is ours when we have trusted in Jesus. That peace is not something that is easy for us to explain. It is a deep ever-present knowledge that only comes from the Lord Himself. The Lord God who spoke this world into existence loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son, born of a virgin, as a sacrifice for you and me. None of us are good enough. None of us can do enough good works. None of us can minister apart from God. It is only by Him and through Him that salvation can be attained because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. The blood of Jesus has covered our sins so that we can stand before God blameless, and live eternally with Him where there are no more tears, no more death and only complete and perfect happiness.

Please call out to Jesus and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior today. Admit that you are a sinner. Believe that He is the Son of God, who walked this earth without sin for over 30 years, and willingly lay down His life for you – though He had done no wrong. He was buried and three days later arose from the grave conquering death and sin for all time. Confess that Jesus is Lord, and repent of your sins, and trust and follow Him for the rest of your life. Seek Him with all your heart.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12 KJV

You are never too lost to be saved. You can from then on be held in the palm of His mighty hand.

Here are the lyrics to “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns:

“Just Be Held”

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

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

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 worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

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

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

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 worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

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 wont let go

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 worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

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