Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Sun Wouldn't Rise (Story and the song)

This is the story behind my song “The Sun Wouldn’t Rise”. 

I wrote this song a few months ago while I was still job hunting. If you’ve never had the fun of job-hunting, I assure you it is one of the most annoying things you could possibly go through. Worse than a marathon of Olsen Twins movies.

Each day I would wake up and apply for jobs, go to interviews, networking events, etc. and each day I would get notified about some new rejection. Every “Thanks for applying, but…” email would continually remind me how bad I was at everything and how everyone was moving way faster in life than I was.

Now, for the first few weeks or so, it’s doable. You just turn on a Rocky movie, get pumped up, and remind yourself that good things take time and hard work. But going into your third year post-college and still being in the same spot you were when you started can really wear on your emotions and self esteem. Needless to say, every word that came out of my mouth was not an “Amen.” In fact, many of the words would probably upset a lot of you parents. I'm sorry, but it’s just the truth.

I could talk for a long time about those years and all the struggle I went through because there are so many stories from that time. And I know a lot of you probably have shared a conversation or two with me during that time and you know what I mean. But for the sake of this message, let’s just say that I was pretty low and every day was a day I had to fight through, with more than just the lack of a job coming against me.

So let’s flash back a little while before that now.

While I was in college I was heavily involved in FCA at the University of Florida. One of the best decisions of my life was getting into that community of amazing people. Even after I graduated, I stayed in Gainesville for two years, and FCA is the type of community that you will just always be a part of.

Unfortunately for FCA, a casual, fun trip that some of the students had gone on in Georgia ended up being the exact opposite. While doing a little cave diving, my friend (and the current president of FCA) Grant Lockenbach was tragically killed along with another member of the group whom I never had the privilege of meeting.

That’s the kind of thing that no one plans for or could ever be ready for. How could you be ready for something like that? It’s so sudden and so painful that it just cuts through you like a knife. One of those things where you just look up to God and stare clueless and helpless.

I went to the memorial service they had for the two boys the following evening or so. It was one of those times where everyone is hurting and angry even, but yet you feel some strange sort of peace just by being around people you love and knowing you had loved the same person. That’s the redeeming part of funerals.

We sang some worship songs led by the FCA band and spent some time in prayer. Then to my surprise, my friend Keri got up to speak. The reason this was a surprise to me is because she was Grant’s girlfriend at the time of the accident. She had literally just been with him the day before. I thought, “How the heck can she get up and share anything and it make sense right now? What could she possibly say? I would be way too angry at God to encourage the people of God.” But there she was, standing before the crowd and holding the microphone.

Keri shared a story and even all this time later I haven’t forgotten it. She said that on the Georgia trip her and Grant had gotten up early to try and go watch the sunrise. There’s nothing like seeing the sun come up while you’re in the mountains, and being from Florida, it’s not something we have the chance to see often.

She said that they had gotten up quite early and headed off to find a good spot. They headed out and found a good spot that the view would be amazing from and they waited for that breathtaking sunrise. And they waited. And they waited a little longer. After waiting for so long, they decided that they should just head back to the campsite, and that apparently the sun wasn’t going to show up that day.

As they were heading back, they slowly began to see some light shining behind them. Turning around, they realized that it was of course the sun. She said they felt pretty ridiculous. “How could we have thought that the actual sun was not going to rise that morning?!”

Sure enough the sun rose. And she went on to say that even though this time that they were all in was dark, and it seems like it’s been darker longer than it should be, the sun would indeed rise on it all. The glory of God would show up. The comfort and restoration promised to us by God would come around. The sun would rise.

I couldn’t get these thoughts out of my head one November evening as I knelt by my bed. I wish I could say I was kneeling out of faith, but I was on my knees in desperation. I had just gotten done yelling at God in my closet so the neighbors wouldn’t hear me screaming and think someone was being murdered. I’m not sure that’s what Jesus meant by “prayer closet” but it works for me. It was hard to worship God. It was hard to believe for something good to happen because for so long just absolutely nothing had worked. I remember literally praying for the "crumbs of the bread off the table," I’d receive even just any little thing from God. I didn’t care. (Matthew 15:17)

But I felt the Lord keep reminding me of Keri’s testimony, and telling me that sun would rise on me. I couldn’t shake it and I felt a peace come over me that I can’t explain. You know how the Bible says that God will turn our mourning into dancing? Well, it’s true. I sat down on my bed and began to write this song.

This kind of Hope is what separates us from the rest of the world. The hope we have in darkness. We'd be delusional to try and act like things are always good when honestly they just suck. And I don't think God expects us to wake up some mornings and just say, "I'm happy!" when we're not. But what I'm finding more than ever is that the Word of God really is what it says it is. And in my weakness, he really is strong. I don't get it, and I don't like it, but there is a purpose for it. We may never find out until eternity, but there is a purpose. I don't think God wastes any of our tears. And we have to believe that the sun will rise. That God's promises are not just neat thoughts, but they are actually his unshakable, reliable word.

And so I started believing that. That God is going to come through, not because of any amount of works I could do, but simply because he loves me. And good things are in store, because he said they were.

And here I am ten months later and I can’t tell you how much has changed just in that amount of time. I don’t tell you this because I think it's because I’m so smart and persistent; I tell you this because I’ve simply seen the grace and goodness of God in ways I can’t deny. You can call it what you want if you don’t believe and it doesn’t bother me, but with everything in me I believe that God does it all. I’m not talented enough to pull any of this stuff off.

I don’t know where you’re at or how dark things might seem for you right now. And I guess I don’t even want to phrase it “might seem,” things could be just straight dark. But just as sure as day comes, I am confident that things will not always be dark. And in your heart you have to ask yourself, “Who is more faithful? The sun, or the Creator of the sun?”

You can make it. You don’t have to give up. You don’t have to believe the thoughts in your head or what others may be telling you. Believe that he “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

I know I'm only in my 20s and I can only tell you what I know and what I believe, but I still believe that the sun is going to rise. Keep the faith.

Link to the song

Never seen a night like this one, and maybe I’m not right where I should be.
I’ve been looking under tables for the crumbs, that are falling from the bread of kings and queens.

Maybe you’ve grown tired of my prayers, or maybe you’re expecting more of me,
They told me that you’d always be there, but I never thought it’d be so hard to believe.

Don’t let me go, don’t close your eyes, don’t go away even when I say you should.
I know you know, I’ve told you lies, but my lies are facing up to The Truth.

Staring into the darkest of nights, how could we believe that the sun wouldn’t rise?
And what I can’t see is still in your sights, how could we believe that the sun wouldn’t rise?

Tight fist, and no one knows the pain, of what it means to lose what you’ve believed.
And I think you’ve got a lot to explain, but right now you’ve chosen not to speak.

But I know your voice is more than words, it’s more than just what I could hear or read,
And I’ve made the choice to put you first; so this must mean I’m right where I should be
And I know you’re here taking this with me.

Staring into the darkest of nights, how could we believe that the sun wouldn’t rise?
And what I can’t see is still in your sights, how could we believe that the sun wouldn’t rise?

And we will see, the dawn will rise in majesty,
And we will know, what all the pain and loss was for,
And when he comes, our tears will blow away like dust,
And I believe, that this Kingdom never lost its King,
I still believe.

And though right now I can’t see your ways,
Soon we will see face to face.

Staring into the darkest of nights, how could we believe that the sun wouldn’t rise?
And what I can’t see is still in your sights, I still believe that this sun will rise.

No comments:

Post a Comment