In Every Season is a song I co-wrote with my friend Cody Norris, during the deepest waters of my life. Even as this song goes to the airwaves, our family is still in the throes of this 3 year-long ordeal, as we battle for our son’s life. My wife and Caleb are now separated from the rest of our family by a 3000 miles chasm, and will be for the next several months as we seek specialist medical intervention.
Jesus told us that life in this world would bring us troubles. He wasn’t being metaphorical. He never promised that those who faithfully follow would have a smooth ride, as if we could earn an exemption from trials by good behavior, or Kingdom service. What I’ve observed in my life and others who serve the Lord is that it’s just the opposite – those who desire to live godly lives will have more suffering as our faith is challenged. Not only that but we have an active adversary, the evil one, who seeks to discourage us from following Jesus.
But God has shown me the secret of joy, just as He showed it to the apostle Paul, and countless other Christ followers who suffered throughout the ages. His grace is sufficient. He is still with us. There has never been a day when I have not been a recipient of His grace. His mercies are new every morning. God has filled my heart with thanksgiving even though the circumstances go from bad to worse. Sometimes His grace to us comes in keeping a sense of humour.
The greatest promise of God to us, the source of all Christian joy, is our resurrection hope – eternity with Him. And when it is realized one day His presence and our glorification will so eclipse our “light and momentary suffering” that we will look back and say it was worth it all. That’s a perspective I couldn’t possibly accept if I were simply looking for God to fix the monumental problems I face before I could trust Him as faithful. The Bible says that those who wait on the Lord will have their strength renewed. His peace is for those who wait on HIM – His person, His Character, His presence… Those who wait merely on better results from a human perspective get ulcers. God’s faithfulness is best seen in the cross of Christ, and nothing I have ever experienced will exceed His suffering for me. He knows my pain.
I recall the irony of recording this song in Nashville this past summer. It was the culmination of a lifelong dream, to be recording in that beautiful place working with some of the best musicians and producers in all of Christian music. Even as I tracked the piano, guitars and vocals I needed God’s strength to carry me, because the pressure on us was so heavy, as our son was not doing well.
I don’t know how this drama will play out. The prayers, the fasting, the pleading with God by Dorilee and I and hundreds of other family, friends, and those who only know of us, have so far brought nothing but more serious trouble. Now that our son is on his 4th hospitalization stint we finally seem to be getting some progress in his treatment, and we thank God for it, but we are still in for a long fight.
In times of God’s apparent silence or inactivity I have to actively choose to believe that He sees us, and that our prayers are still being heard. The devil whispers to me: "God is ignoring you, you're being punished, why bother with faith? God doesn't heal these days."
But the Holy Spirit moved me the other day to write down every crisis of my life that I can remember, and how God brought me through. From the various moves across the continent, job losses, housing needs, ministry betrayal, relational disappointment, and not to mention the the dramatic divine healing I experienced in my own body 20 years ago as a result of the elders of my church laying on hands and anointing with oil. Then there was Dorilee's release from anxiety and depression that had incapacitated her 7 years ago. Every time God has had an answer for my prayers. Some answers came as multi-round fights. Some came so fast it was as if God had already moved on our behalf before we even prayed.
What I know is that this God I serve has been guiding and caring for me in every season of my life, even from my childhood. Dorilee and I have seen some incredible blessings, answers to prayer, great provision, wonderful friends, and rich experiences - yes - even dreams come true. And though I believe we will see Him do it again on this earth, I know we will see it again on the New Earth. You see, with Christ as our champion it is win/win. You cannot ultimately lose when you have placed your life in the hands of our all powerful and gracious God. As you listen to this song, whatever you may be facing, He is faithful, worthy of your complete trust. He is the granter of perfect peace. You’ll never know just how faithful He is until you’ve looked back one day and seen all He has done – things you couldn’t understand at the time if He were to tell you to your face. Keep holding on to Jesus. Truly, He will never fail you "In Every Season."