We never outgrow our need to Be Held.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Imagine this: being held in Jesus’ arms. Looking up at his face the way a baby stares into her mother’s eyes. Then you hear His voice. He’s singing. Over YOU. You take a slow, deep breath in, and your body relaxes as you sink deeper into his arms, releasing all the stress and worried thoughts from your mind as you breathe out, wrapped in the peace that comes only from the Lord. So safe. So close. You feel his heart beating along with yours, your pulse slowing with every breath until it matches the rising, falling rhythm of his chest.
Lean in. Stay here. Abide.
Nothing ushers me into His presence as dependably as #lullabiesforthebeloved This album by Christy Nockels is celebrating the second anniversary of its release this week. And, for the past two years, these songs have been some of the biggest tools God has used in healing me and those around me.
The songs from Be Held have been on a continuous loop many times- first, as I awoke from a 4-hour-surgery, five hours from home (and a second follow up surgery a week later). They played from my phone on my grandmother’s pillow, next to her ear as she took her last breaths. And again as I held a baby in my arms, praying God’s healing over his tiny body from a 5-foot radius around his hospital crib – tethered by IV catheters and heart monitor cords.
More than music filled those rooms.
I learned that Christy spoke scripture verses into every song – not the lyrics, but under the lyrics, layered in like an instrument, like a prayer, holding the songs together. I heard her describe this in an episode of her podcast, The Glorious in the Mundane, as I was painting a bedroom to prepare it for the foster children who would come into our home. As she told the story of layering God’s word into the music, I was reminded of my parent’s church, where we wrote scripture onto the walls and floors of the building during it’s construction. In that moment, holding a dripping paint brush, the Holy Spirit filled the room and drew my eyes to the space above the doorway as I heard the words from Deuteronomy chapter 6: “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
I stood there, frozen in the middle of that room, hands lifted high, praying for our sweet daughter in Mexico who slept within those walls for a year – God’s response to our Anything Prayer (read her story here). I prayed over the kids whose lives would intersect ours – the foster children for whom we were preparing this bedroom. I opened my eyes, lowered the paint brush in my hand, and reached for my Bible and pencil to scribble Deuteronomy 6:5 above the doorway, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
To say that #lullabiesforthebeloved is anointed feels like an understatement.
So many others have experienced God’s presence, his healing, his power, through these songs. Christy’s obedience in creating this album reminds me of C. S. Lewis’s advice, “Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.”
We are all in constant need of Jesus. Rest in his embrace today knowing that he sees you. He knows you. He loves you. And he is with you.
You are His beloved.