Thursday, September 18, 2008

Asking Why

Evacuating for a hurricane this week gave me an opportunity to listen to my iPod in the car for 13 hours round-trip. I have lots of playlists and am always thinking of a new way to organize my music into categories. I love to listen to music in the car and it's great when I know just which playlist I'm in the mood to hear.

I love songs that are genuine and honest, telling the truth about life and hardships and the ups and downs of the Christian walk. I can probably count on one hand the songs that I know of personally that I would put into this category. That's why I love artists like Caedmon's Call, Jeremy Camp, and Bebo Norman. And a few years ago the song Never Alone by BarlowGirl blew me away with its amazing reminder about trusting in what you know about God instead of the feelings that come along with circumstances.

For yesterday's trip home I selected the playlist that should be labeled "Comfort Songs." I got to thinking about a song from Rich Mullins' album The Jesus Record, which was released after the singer/songwriter's untimely death in 1997. The album is a two-disc set, with the first disc consisting of nine demos roughly recorded by Mullins in a church just a few days before he died. In my opinion, Rich Mullins was one of the first to write songs that were truly about Christianity. True Christianity - helping the poor and needy, the widows, the orphans, and living out our faith every single day.

Hard To Get is one of those songs that stops me in my tracks. It's like a prayer to God spoken by someone who is hurting. (I won't print the entire lyrics here but you can find them at this link.) It asks some hard questions and I like that. Does God really hear our prayers? Does he know how we feel? I remember when my own prayers were guarded by my fear of offending God by letting Him know how angry or hurt I was. How wonderful when I realized that He already knows how I'm feeling! I might as well be honest about it and tell Him. He knows my anger, fears, worries, and hurts. And because of Jesus, He understands them. He knows what it's like to be human.

There are so many gems within the song, and I'll mention the ones that speak to me the most. In my own life, and especially since being confronted with infertility and recurrent miscarriage, I get overwhelmed with the WHY. Why, God? Why me? I begin to think if I only knew a reason why, I could deal with it so much better. Mullins writes in the song, "And I know it would not hurt any less even if it could be explained," and I realize that's true. If I knew why, would it hurt any less? No. Even if I had a detailed explanation from God about why this is happening, it wouldn't hurt any less. I am not able to forget the pain of loss. It would definitely still hurt. Maybe that doesn't sound like a benefit but it does help me to work on letting go of the need to know why, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike as well.

To me, the best line of the song is this one:

I can't see how You're leading me
unless You've led me here
Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led

That's exactly where I need to be. Lost enough to let myself be led. When I can't see how God is leading me, that's where trust becomes crucial. I know that He is leading, even if I don't see how.

Finally, thanks again to all of you who prayed for us during this hurricane. We got home yesterday to find that the house is ok! We still have lots of debris to clean up out of the yard, but we only have damage to our fence, shed, and roof (we lost a bunch of shingles, but no water got in the house). We are so thankful to be home and to have electricity. We know that many are still without. Please keep those in your prayers in the coming weeks.


Kevin and Beth Tanner said...

Stacey- what a beautiful post, it spoke right to my heart, voicing many of my words! Praying for you right now!!

Emily said...

I feel the same way about it being hard to find genuine, honest songs about the Christian life. Rich Mullins and Bebo Norman are probably my two favorite Christian artists. I really love Bebo's latest album, "Between the Dreaming and the Coming True." Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I guess having time to sit back and contemplate good music is one perk of long road trips!

Connie said...

That was beautiful, Stace. I often feel like my "issues" are nothing compared to the hurt you are feeling and yet you always offer your listening and loving ear (even today). It's so good to be reminded of God's love for us, not EVEN but, ESPECIALLY in the hard times.

I often times find myself asking God, "Why my sister?" "Why, when I KNOW she would be such an amazing mom (so much better at it than me)?" I am reminded of one of your earlier posts that talked about God's Amazing Grace and I am in awe (complete and total awe) of your strength. I love you so much! You continue to amaze me!

I Believe in Miracles said...

What a great post!! I love how songs can speak to our hearts so easily. We talked yesterday in Bible study about - how do we know we're asking the right prayers? Often times I wonder. The line seems to fit in well with that...
Glad things are ok with the house. That is such an answer to prayer.

Andrea said...

Thanks for sharing this. I haven't thought about Rich Mullins in a long time. I'll have to go dig up the CDs I have by him.

I'm glad your house is okay!

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear you're safe! And that your house was not too badly damaged!

Stacy from Louisville said...


I love Rich Mullins and the song you are talking about makes my voice go horse and tears well as I listen to it, every time. Rich was a lyrical poet who really got the inconsistencies in the church, in Christians, in the way God's will sometimes seems evasive. The day he died I cried. I didn't cry because I was a crazy groopie, I cried because a man I never met could help me crawl into God's hand like nothing else I knew. I cried because his voice was silenced. He lived it, didn't he?

Your blog is lovely. I am glad you are safe.