When I woke early on a recent muggy morning in Havana, Cuba, my roommate told me I was repeating a phrase in my sleep: “Jesus, hold me! Jesus, hold me! Jesus, hold me!” I had no awareness of this (and was relieved that I hadn’t exclaimed something embarrassing). I was deeply intrigued, however, at what my subconscious had been up to throughout the night.
As lives go, I live a blessed one. I’m not facing difficult circumstances that would overwhelm me to the degree that I would shout this phrase in my waking life. But why shouldn’t I do exactly that? Considering my fallen nature and propensity to sin, being held by Jesus is the exact thing that I need, in waking and in sleeping!
I recall fondly the days when my children were young. They loved to sit on my lap and be held; they received my love, comfort, protection, warmth, and security. Other times, when near an unfamiliar person, they would run to me and grab my leg. They trusted that I would be a place of safety when they felt afraid. Scripture reminds us, as adults, to be like children (Matthew 18:3). With the enthusiasm and confidence of little children, we are to run to him and say, “Jesus, hold me!”
There is no shortage of circumstances that should fuel this cry in my life, whether with my mouth or with my heart. Yet I don’t often give it voice. Is it embarrassment that prevents me? Pride? Perhaps this is what was on Rich Mullins’ heart when he sang “Hold me, Jesus”:
Surrender don’t come natural to me
I’d rather fight you for something
I don’t really want
Than to take what you give that I need
And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees
Yeah, that about sums it up. Mullins continues,
Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin
So hold me Jesus,
Cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won’t You be my Prince of Peace
This is where I belong, where we all belong: in the arms of our Savior. Jesus, hold me!
I wonder, was my subconscious mind trying to return to its true home that hot night in Havana? It’s a bit strange to be exhorted by, well, by my (sleeping) self, but I’m going to listen. I’m going to trust our Lord’s invitation to come to Him, and this time I’m not going to wait until I’m asleep to cry out—with enthusiasm and confidence—”Jesus, hold me!”