I have always felt that music was one of the most powerful mediums for conveying truth, expressing emotion and reaching people in a way nothing else can. This theory was proven to me early on in my career. When I was just venturing into the music world, I was a part of a group called Truth. We played nearly 300 dates a year (yes…300) and traveled all over. One night, though, we were back in Seattle at my home church. My friends and family were in the audience and it was a blessing to perform for them.
Something happened that night, though, that I’ll never forget. During one of our songs, “God is in Control,” I looked up to see my nine year old nephew standing by himself, hands raised, tears streaming down his face, claiming that truth of the lyrics as his own:
God is in control, though godless men conspire. / His will unfolds though mortal men may always seem to doubt. / His ways are higher than our ways. / So even through the fire, take heart and know God is in control.
My sister later shared with me that her son had said to her, “That song’s just for me.” At the time, my nephew was facing the greatest tragedy his little heart had known—his parents were getting divorced. My sister also shared that she had recently walked in on him, moaning in anguished sounds that shouldn’t have to come from a 9-year old, crying and asking for Daddy. All she could do was scoop him into her arms, hold him and remind him of the powerful message in that song. As he let the peace of the All-Mighty’s power wash over him, it was as if God Himself was holding him in His arms.
Truth is, He was. And He does the same for you and me everyday. We all know that life is hard, painful and unjust. Sometimes the circumstances we face make no sense—especially if we are Christians. After all, we’ve committed our hearts to the Creator of heaven and earth…shouldn’t He be able to shield us from some of this pain? Of course, He can. He has every capacity to orchestrate a pain-free life for anyone anywhere anytime. But, He has instead given us free will. And with that will, we have fallen along with our broken world. Tragedy, loss and pain are consequences of our decisions. And their repercussions impact both the innocent and guilty.
And so, while we’re not guaranteed an easy or smooth ride through life, we are promised the stronghold of God to never waiver or leave. We are promised that no matter how alone we feel or how deeply we hurt, we can trust that God is still working all things for good. That’s what my nephew discovered and claimed as his own that night. Despite the upheaval of his world, he chose to trust God’s sovereignty. Despite not understanding the purpose of his circumstances, he chose to trust that God has already worked them through to the end. That’s not easy to do. Many times, when dark clouds appear on the horizon, I default to—OK God, what did I do now to make you so mad at me? I have a hard time stepping back to see the big picture. I forget that my darkest day is just another thread in His beautiful tapestry that I won’t even see on this earth. I lose myself in the darkness around me. Before long, I don’t even feel like crawling towards a light.
But that’s not God’s desire. He knows our hurts. He knows our losses. He knows our doubts. And He is trustworthy to redeem, deliver and sanctify.
It’s up to us not only to believe that, but to ask for it and expect it. I dare you today to pray for a perspective that is bigger than your circumstances. I dare you to trust that God isn’t through with you or your story. I dare you to accept that you do not know the end and REST in the knowledge that He does. Be it a song or scripture or a smile from a stranger, pray that God will show you, today, evidence of His promises fulfilled in your life…and for the many promises to come.
1. What are you having trouble trusting God with today?
2. Do you really believe that your darkest circumstances are part of a greater work?
3. Do you believe that God is working all things for your good?