Written by Dawn Rutan
For several weeks now I’ve been dwelling on Casting Crowns’ song “Just Be Held.” You can read the lyrics here: https://www.castingcrowns.com/music/lyrics/just-be-held
The story behind the song says that when we’re in the storms we try to hold onto whatever we can for security, but we can remember that we’re in God’s hands and we can trust His control. Scripture is full of reminders of God’s loving care:
“He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11 ESV).
“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27a).
“I Myself will be the shepherd of My sheep, and I Myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice” (Ezekiel 34:15-16).
I’ve been thinking about God’s care in the Body of Christ as well, and the fact that He has placed us in relationship with those who can be His physical arms of comfort and strength during our storms. Exodus 17 recounts the story of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ arms so that the Israelites would defeat Amalek in battle. Chapter 18 then contains Jethro’s advice to Moses that he needs help judging the disputes of the people. Although these passages are usually preached in terms of church governance and supporting the pastor, the fact is that we all need those who can come alongside us and lift us up in the times of battle, weariness, and busyness. Whether it’s through prayer, encouragement, or physical provision, we need one another.
Unfortunately pride, fear, and inattention can keep us from either giving or receiving the loving care we all need. One evening recently I read Proverbs 12:25: “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” When I read that, I thought about posting it to Facebook and just stating that I needed a “good word.” But I chose not to do so because I didn’t know what people might think. Out of pride I probably denied some people the opportunity to be encouragers. One thing I have tried to do sometimes is when I feel in need of encouragement and prayer for myself, I take that opportunity to pray for and encourage someone else. Whether or not that person reciprocates, I know I am honoring the Scriptural admonitions to love one another and pray for one another. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anyone who isn’t grateful for a word of encouragement.
God may express His love and care directly through His Word or by His Spirit, or He may call someone in the Body of Christ to come alongside us. No matter how it happens, we can trust that He has His hand upon us.
“But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand.” –Psalm 31:14-15a