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BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#434 - "Nothing Is Wasted" by Jason Gray
Centricity Records' singer/songwriter Jason Gray speaks to NRT's Kevin Davis about his hit single, "Nothing Is Wasted."
 


If you like songs with strong messages that cut right to your heart, then you should really enjoy A Way to See in the Dark by Jason Gray. Following up the hit songs “Remind Me Who I Am” and “Good To Be Alive” is Jason’s newest single “Nothing Is Wasted,” which has also been re-released with a new bridge on the Nothing Is Wasted EP.

The song is framed by the biblical concept “what’s lost will be found again.” “Nothing Is Wasted” is a powerful message of God’s unwavering faithfulness.

I really enjoy this song and keep playing it over and over. I had the privilege to host Jason at my church for a concert, and after the concert we spoke in-person about this great song. This is our tenth “behind the song” discussion together, making Jason my most featured artist.

 

What led to you writing this song and recording the two versions?

The thought behind this song was inspired by something I read in Annie Dillard’s book “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” which is an amazing book if you ever get the chance to read it. She’s a believer and she is out at her cabin in the woods observing Creation and reflecting on it. She says at one point in the book that “our God is a God of economy, He doesn’t waste anything.”

I thought of the ramifications of that in my own experience, that there isn’t anything wasted. That’s something I’m grateful for. No matter what we go through, whether it's difficulties we’ve experienced, ways people have hurt us, or even ways we’ve hurt others and our own failures, there isn’t anything beyond the redemptive reach of God. There isn’t anything that He can’t take and redeem and turn around and cause to serve His plan—the story that He wants to tell.

The bridge I originally wrote for the song acknowledges how hard it can be to appreciate difficulty when it is happening. It’s hard to say to someone “don’t worry this is all going to be fine.” I want to acknowledge that hope is painful. It can be painful to hope. When the pain is so much it’s easier for your heart to shut down and become numb. That’s okay. There are stages of grieving.

The bridge says—“when hope is more than you can bear, and it’s too hard to believe it could be true, and your strength fails you halfway there, you can lean on me and I’ll believe for you, in time you may believe it too.” When we lose hope, we are disappointed in ourselves. You don’t have to carry it alone. You don’t have to worry about hoping. I can hope for you.

I remember I was going through a difficult time and I was despairing over the brokenness in my life. In the clarity of recognizing that my own sin led to my brokenness, I realized that my sin led me to that moment. My friend said he wanted to believe that it was leading me to the moment beyond that moment. He embodied the bridge of this song for me.

I spoke that same way to a friend who suffered great loss. Sometimes we judge our grieving, and we need to stop that. We need to feel our feelings, no matter how ugly they are. Then you give them to the Lord. Otherwise, you’re not going to heal. You don’t heal when you’re in denial. You don’t heal when you hide your wounds. It’s messy.  Bring them out in the open, and then give it to the Lord.

You mention having a “wound” in the second verse of the song and in the new bridge, you mention hope. How are those ideas connected for you personally?

Those words, “it’s from the deepest wounds, beauty finds a place to bloom,” reminds me of when one of the kindest, wisest people I know was asked how he became himself, how did he become who he is. He answered with one word: pain.

There’s an uncomfortable truth out there that you have to suffer to be beautiful. Suffering makes people beautiful. As long as it doesn’t make you bitter. It can go either way. The most beautiful people I know have suffered a great deal. The people with the most beautiful testimonies and stories I know have been through the most hardships. The best marriages I know have gone to hell and back.

The most gracious and kind people I know have had their biggest failures completely exposed. It’s eradicated judgment from their lives. That can be the fruit of the most difficult things we go through.

Which Bible verses connect to the song?

Romans 8:28 (The Voice)We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.

What's the takeaway message?

That’s a powerful statement in Romans 8:28. The ways I’ve seen this is that the worst that hell has thrown at your life, whether it’s abuse, betrayal, difficulties, depression, failures, all those things, if we take all of that brokenness to the Lord and bring it to Him, He can take it, and reshape it, and use it as something against hell to build His Kingdom.

That way the worst things that happen to us become our ministry, and become our testimony. They cause us to be revealers of God’s grace. That’s so encouraging to me to the point now that when I’m going through difficulty, I’m like “okay bring it.” I know the Lord can take it and use it. As bad as the situation, it won’t be wasted by God’s grace to produce something beautiful and meaningful in my life. It won’t only be pain.

It's the idea of what has the last word over our lives. Is it the tragedy, pain, difficulty, and loss, or does Love get to have the last say? I believe that The Lord gets to have the last say, and His Word is Love. The Word that He speaks over our lives will be love. His Word trumps the other things that want to have a say in our lives.

Lyrics:

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again
 

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

When hope is more than you can bear
And it’s too hard to believe it could be true
And your strength fails you half way there
You can lean on me and I’ll believe for you
Give it time, you will believe it too

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
Sometimes we are waiting
In the sorrow we have tasted
But joy will replace it
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

Here’s what Charles Spurgeon says about Romans 8:28 in his 
Morning and Evening Devotional on August 5th. Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows too that God is always wise, and knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.” We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact.”

God doesn’t make bad things happen to us. He came to give us life and to live with Him eternally by trusting in Jesus alone for our salvation. God is bigger than any tragedy we may have experienced in this world.

The basic message behind Jason's songs is for people to see how God's grace works in a real person's life. When we come clean about our brokenness, Christ becomes the star of our testimony and not us. A lot of the songs have to do with fear—that we aren't enough, or that maybe God isn't in control.

As many of Jason's songs beautifully proclaim, we are Christ's beloved. We all certainly beat ourselves up and forget that Truth. Jason consistently finds a way to express my own spiritual feelings and prayerful yearnings of my heart. Jesus is the blessed Hope that we have.

Since this song is about bringing your shames and your fears out into the light, a great challenge when you listen to this song is to think about areas in your life that you’re keeping inside, and bring them to the feet of Jesus—The Light of the World. That’s where He overcomes, by His blood. That’s the basis of our hope. The blood of the Lamb removes all shame and guilt and we can boldly approach the Throne of grace.

This song gives me more conviction to not feel worthless or afraid. With many areas in our lives, we also spend a lot of time worrying. We need to let that go, and allow the Lord to be our Redeemer. We don’t know the day or the hour the Lord will return or bring us home. Seize the day, live for Jesus, and know that “nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer.” Amen to that!

You can watch the music video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l26UoD-N2hA

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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