“I can’t stop the rain from falling down on you but I will hold you until it goes away.” These are the words from the Third Day song “When the Rain Comes.” Sometimes life just seems overwhelming and we just want to be held. I think that when we are in this state of mind and the whole world feels grey, so often what we really need is to be physically held by someone, but it is so hard to muster the courage to ask to be held. It means we have to be vulnerable enough to admit we aren’t as strong as those around us expect us to be. We need to know there are arms available to us. We need to seek to find ways to reach out to our loved ones and friends. It is easy to do when we feel upbeat, but what happens when life just hits the rocks and we feel like we are falling apart? It requires us to show our weakness. We can’t be strong all the time.
We also need to know that those arms we are reaching for will be strong enough to hold our sorrow and depression, anxiety and self doubt. That they will be strong enough to hold our tears and our pain. I believe sometimes these shoulders is not actually physical ones but the shoulders of God. It takes a leap of faith to believe God is able to hold these sorrows or be a presence in our dark and grey times or that there is a God who actually cares about us individually. For me it is comforting to know that there is a Being who created me just for the sole purpose of holding me, to be in relationship with me. When I decide to believe and crawl up in his “lap” (that is my image of God) and be held, I find great comfort. I not only sense comfort but I gain energy and hope for hopeless times. There is another song, “Held” by Natalie Grant that talks about how God never promises our life will be perfect, easy or without great hardship, but he does promise to hold us during those times that seem too heavy or sorrowful to go alone.
How does this happen? I can’t really tell you. All I know is that something in my heart and brain needs to release my doubting, self-sufficient nature and lean into the super-natural. In this place I find solace and a sense of being centered, even in the midst of a storm. I find hope that even when things seem hopeless, I can remain calm.
But sometimes we just need real arms to hold us. This takes something just as vulnerable, sometimes even more vulnerable than turning to God; to admit we need to be held. Brene’ Brown has researched what causes us to run from this kind of vulnerability. She concludes it is actually that which causes us to cringe is what we need the most; to admit we can’t figure out how to get through this sadness alone, and that we need others.
Whether you get to be the one doing the holding or you get to be held, we can find shelter in one another. Don’t hesitate, take the leap and reach out, reach up and be held.