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“Held” by Natalie Grant

(Read the Lyrics below)

For many years, it has been my contention that God’s priorities and mine were not the same. Teachers of Biblical ideas taught satisfaction, that God wants His people, His children to prosper, to be healthy, to be “blessed.” It was insinuated that we were “favored” above non-believers. It was then assumed that if some “evil” befell you, there must be sin in your life or at the very least, a lack of faith. This, however, was not what I witnessed in or outside the Church-at-large.

Through the years, I’ve seen many people healed of various diseases and crippling conditions. I’ve seen blind eyes opened. I’ve seen deaf ears unstopped and new limbs grown or damaged ones repaired. Some, but not all. Why?

Does God love some better than others? NO! Does He require more of some than others? NO! What is the difference? Why are some healed and not others? Why are some rescued from addictions, but not all? Why do horrible things happen to good and caring people?

It has slipped into the mentality of many Christians that they are somehow exempt from life’s tragedies. That because we give our lives to Jesus to manage, the storms of life will pass by us. We skip over Jesus’ words, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)

Where did we ever get the notion that we were “above” the troubles of this life? I don’t know, but it’s a reality in many congregations to the point that when tragedy does strike, as it always does, the victim is left alone. The other “sheep” scatter unable or unwilling to deal with the hurt, the suffering, the difficulties, whatever they may be because it doesn’t line up with their trouble-free theology.

Today, there are millions, yes, millions of believers OUTSIDE local assemblies because of “friendly fire” incidents. (“Friendly fire” is when members of the same army, on the same side, wound one another accidentally or intentionally!) Something as seemingly innocuous as divorce or a child’s drug addiction or even poor grades is enough to bring on the “gossiper-prayer chains” and bring separation. Assumptions are made, insensitive and unkind words spoken, and insult is added to injury.

At some point, if the Body of Christ is to be healthy, she must learn to embrace suffering as Jesus embraced his own. We must apprehend God’s purpose even if we do not always like His methods. It’s time for Christians to once again, become more “OTHERS” focused and less self-indulgent and learn to love as God loves, less judgmental and more compassionate. God will always take care of our NEEDS, but not always our wishes, wants or desires. It seems God is less interested in our temporary comfort than He is our eternal condition. This is a very GOOD thing!

Both of these songs illustrate my point. Give a listen and ponder the lyrics.

“Blessings” by Laura Story

READ the Lyrics below

* HELD lyrics:
Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We’re asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it’s unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

[Repeat Chorus]

*BLESSINGS lyrics:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.

All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Your love is too way too much to give us lesser things.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your word is not enough.

All, the while, You hear each desperate plea.
And long that we’d have faith to believe.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win;
We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not, this is not our home.
It’s not our home.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near? What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of greater thirst that a world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights; Are Your mercies in disguise?