“Just Be Held”

Casting Crowns wrote a song in 2014 called, “Just Be Held.”  During this Christmas season, this song reminds me about how the world brings chaos and disappointment into our lives. Many people lost loved ones this year, and the memory of them not being here for the holidays causes sadness.  For others, Christmas did not turn out the way they planned it, and they are dealing with depression and disappointment.  Some will put on a fake smile and make the best of the holidays even if they have lost the Christmas cheer.  This song, “Just Be Held” brings comfort to those who are sad, depressed, and disappointed.  It reminds us that no matter what we are going through, we are held by our Heavenly Father.

In the beginning of the song it talks about how we are expected to “hold it all together [because] everyone needs you strong.”  In times of sorrow or trouble, people expect us to be strong for the whole family during the holidays.  The truth is, God does not expect that from us.  He sees your hurt and realizes you are barely holding on.   You are on the verge of your breaking point.  God sees that and wants you to be held by Him.

The chorus tells us to stop fighting in our flesh, surrender to God, and lay our burdens down at Jesus’ feet.  Matthew 11:28-30 tells us to give our burdens to God and rest in Him.  When we hold on to our hurt, regret, and shame, we exhaust ourselves and become weak in the Spirit.  We begin to feel alone and think we are falling apart.  We feel like we are too far gone to  find peace again.  We feel like we are in a war that will never end.  That is when we get on our knees and call out Jesus’ name, because God is “on the throne” and He will hold us in the midst of our life’s storms.  He tells us to stop holding on and to trust Him in His arms.

The song continues to encourage us to not focus on our circumstances and to focus on the cross.  Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us that God “will never leave [us] nor forsake [us].”  The cross represents God’s love for us.  He cares about our every need (Philippians 4:19).  God wipes away our tears and turns our circumstances into something beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3).  He turns the ashes into beauty.

Next week as we come together with family and friends, let this song be a reminder that God wants to hold us in His arms through the hurt, the sadness, and the regret of what this season has brought into our lives.  His love overwhelms you with His peace.  Remember, to be held by our Heavenly Father is the most precious place to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Present

My Weekly Featured Blog is written by Pure Devotion. It is called, “Stay Present”.

You must believe that God’s Presence is for you today. Come to the Lord and lay every burden and sin at His Feet. Step into His Presence with the boldness and confidence that comes from faith that chooses to trust the Lord rather than anyone else’s report. The Presence of God in you is absolutely essential to the next Great Move of God in the church. Will you stay present in His Presence today? The world needs you to be there. You cannot lead where you have not been. You cannot share something you do not have. You cannot share a Gospel that is not in you.

pure devotion

stay-presentPsalm 68:3-4 (NLT) But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.His name is the Lord—rejoice in his presence!

Not too long ago, I purchased an oversized lounging hoodie with the words “Stay Present” on the front. I bought it because it was soft and flowy ready to put on with some yoga pants and do nothing kind of shirt. The words on the front “Stay Present” caught my attention and moved in my spirit a little so with the deeply discounted sales tag, I threw it in the buggy and kept shopping. As I rummage through the closet looking for something to wear on occasion I stop and read the shirt time and time again. It’s as if there is…

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The Christmas Blues

During the holidays, some people are excited about buying presents for the ones they love.  They enjoy gathering with their family and friends as they celebrate the joy of Christmas.  They cannot wait to put up the tree and decorations.  While others dread the awkwardness of gatherings and crowds.  They dread the decorations, because no one is there to see it.  The holidays remind them of the ones they lost this year or the singleness that it brings.  For me, the holidays bring sadness.  The gatherings remind me of how lonely I am.  I usually wait until everyone sits so all the couples can sit together.  I get asked if I am dating or when will I get married.  The response is awkward, and I get the “what’s wrong with me look” or sympathy.  I never feel like I fit into big crowds.  I am always singled out without anyone intentionally making me feel this way.  It just happens.

The holidays are supposed bring happiness and joy.  It is not supposed to make you feel alone and rejected.  This year I decided to make a change and decided to go on an online Christian dating site hoping to have a boyfriend by Christmas.  You see, I made a big mistake.  I have only had disappointment or fear by being on this site which made it worse for the holidays.  I set myself up for failure.

The thing is, Christmas is not about how I feel, but it is about Jesus’ birthday.  I should have joy, because Jesus was born to save the world. He was born of a virgin, and He was God and man in one.  He came to live on earth to teach us about His Father, on how to live a pure life, and what it means to sacrifice our lives for others.  He taught us how to love unconditionally and how to forgive.  Christmas is not about us; It’s about Him!

My pastor talked yesterday about how Jesus’ birth was not perfect.  It was full of disappointment and rejections.  Jesus was born in a manger with animals and hay around him.  My pastor reminded the congregation that the stable was not an ideal place to give birth, let alone our Savior’s birth.  It smelled and was damp.  It was not the most sterile place to have a baby.  The first Christmas was messy and not what Mary and Joseph expected.

We can all relate to Jesus’ story of His birth that life is not perfect, but we can enjoy what is good in our lives.  During the holidays, we need to see what we have rather than what we lack.  We need to enjoy the people we have in our lives today and be in remembrance of those who are no longer with us.  Let us not miss out on the people we share life with today.  Let us not grieve over what we do not have and miss out on the blessings God wants to give us through Jesus’ birth.  We have plenty to celebrate!  So let us, including myself, move past the Christmas blues and start making memories of today!