Country Song and Theology: What Hurts The Most = God Plotting for My Joy

Standard

“What hurts the most

Was being so close

And havin’ so much to say

And watchin’ you walk away

And never knowin’

What could’ve been

And not seein’ that lovin’ you

Is what I was trying to do” (Rascal Flatts)

I heard this song tonight and my mind went back 8 years to when this song was one of my favorites. I was a junior in college and had jus experienced what felt like a break up with one of my best friends.I listened to this song lots of time that fall and felt alone. This was my life going to the cafeteria, “It’s hard to force that smile when I see our old friends and I’m alone” and not being able to hang out with my guys anymore for fear of hurting him. Yet, that semester, I began digging into Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity and learning what it meant to lean into Jesus even harder.

November 15, 2006

Life’s good…school is going fine and so is work, but there’s an emptiness. Why? I don’t know other making me more like him. What happened to my plans? I’m happy but deep down inside something is missing.

But Elizabeth Elliot said in “Passion and Purity”, “There is no ongoing spiritual life without this process of letting go. At the precise point where we refuse, growth stops. If we hold tightly to anything given to us, unwilling to let it go when the time comes to let it go or unwilling to allow it to be used as the Giver means it to be used, we stunt the growth of the soul.It is easy to make a mistake here. “If God gave it to me,” we say “it’s mine. I can do what I want with it.” No. The truth is that is ours to thank Him for and ours to offer back to Him, ours to relinquish, ours to lose, ours to let go—if we want to find our true selves, if we want real Life, if our hearts are set on glory.” “Many deaths must go into our reaching that measure (the fullness of Christ), many letting-goes.”
Or David Crowder, “By letting go gain everything” why does it not feel that way?
Lord, grant me the vision of your plan and fill this hungry heart with all of you. Help me give up totally what I want to find what you want.

Now

I’m still learning to let go of my life, but as I look back, I can see that how I learned that my friend still cared about me and loved me as a friend despite my pushing him away and was listening to “What Hurts the Most” that entire fall as well. He showed me what a godly man looks like and I’m still incredibly thankful for the selfless friendship he gave.

I moved home that spring semester, which further distanced me from my best friends. I was misunderstood that spring and weeping alone in the prayer room at LU, but a stranger asked if I was ok. He didn’t know me but he was sensitive to God’s spirit and checked on me. Then, I was able to go to Brasil that summer on my first missions trip, which might not have happened had I focused on a relationship instead of seeking what God had for me. Yet now I’m starting to that while the country song expressed what I feel that Piper expressed what I needed to hear and still struggle to grasp:

“In all the setbacks of your life as a believer, God is plotting for your joy.” John Piper

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