“Held” by Natalie Grant is a song about losing a child and learning to trust in God through pain and suffering. I’ve never lost a child, so I can’t even imagine that pain, but I know that this song has helped many people through their loss. I wanted to dig deeper into the possible meaning of this song. I hope it helps many people.
First verse: “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. Chorus: 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 when everything fell, we’d be held.”
The first verse talks about how someone’s son died at two months old. It was too soon for the family and they grieved unimaginable grief. They couldn’t work a miracle to save their son. God didn’t save him in his Earthly life, and took him to Heaven. The song asks who told any of us that we’d be saved from any nightmares and that it is ok for the family to ask why their son died, even when they prayed for healing and a miracle. It tells us that it is ok to ask why terrible things happen in our lives and to say that it is unfair. Yet the family knew they were still held by the promises of God, that they would see their son again in Heaven.
We have the same promise of God’s love and grace too. Knowing God on a personal level and continuing to have faith even amid the worst times of your life, is what it means to be held. That pain is how it feels when something sacred is torn from your life and God gives you the strength, power, wisdom and courage that you didn’t know you had within you, in order to survive. We know what it is to be loved by God. He gave us that never-ending promise of love that He’d be with us and hold us together when everything seemed to be falling apart. He holds us together even when we can’t go on.
Second verse: “This hand is bitterness. We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow. The wise hands open slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow. Chorus: 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 when everything fell we’d be held.”
Satan wants us to be bitter and angry through our suffering and for us to even turn on or away from God. We often want to stay in our sorrow and let the hatred that we may have within us numb the pain that we feel after losing someone. We want to keep that anger and hatred inside of us instead of letting it go completely and giving it up to Him through prayer. But God is always with us and in our midst. His wise hands are always there to receive the baggage that we have been carrying around. We may have been carrying it for so long that we don’t even know how to give it up to Him. He will lift it from our shoulders and replace it with peace. That’s what it means to be held by the King of Kings. He will help you survive the unimaginable.
Bridge: “If hope is born of suffering. If this is only the beginning. Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior? Chorus: 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, when everything fell we’d be held.”
The bridge poses the question that if hope is actually born of our suffering, how can it only be the beginning? Aren’t we too far gone to be helped by God through the tough times and through our grief? That can’t be farther from the truth. The last part of the bridge really hits home- “can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?” This is referring to when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane with His disciples. They fell asleep and Jesus asked them how they fell asleep and to keep watch again with Him before He was handed over to be crucified. This part of the song also makes us think of waiting and watching with expectation of Jesus’ second coming. We must be ready for Jesus to come again. We are always held by God even when it doesn’t feel like we are. He will never let us go from His loving arms.