After a positive first week of music, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot continues to use social media to offer some hope and encouragement, as the United States continues to dive deeper into the COVID-19 pandemic. He shares heartfelt thoughts and encouraging words accompanied by singing to a solo, acoustic guitar arrangement of the song he chose for the night.
This is week two of quality time with Jon as he offers these intimate times of music with everyone. He has not said how long he plans to keep doing this. But, we hope these times of encouragement from what he is doing does not end soon.
Night 8: "24"
Jon starts off week two with the song "24." He says, "Hi everybody. How are you doing? I hope everyone's well, healthy. I'm really thankful for music in moments like this. I'm thankful for the thread that it weaves through all of these experiences in life: through some moments of joy, some moments of pain, frustration, whatever it is. That the song can find itself and seem to remind me of a bigger story. This is a song from the 1900s. It's a song called '24.'"
Often in life, we look at our recent past and think to ourselves the same as Jon did in this song, lamenting that "Life is not what I thought it was twenty-four hours ago." If this is you, let this song challenge you to pray the chorus that confidently sings, "Still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with You." Are you willing to submit your current situation to God?
Night 9: "Your Love is Strong"
Jon went into his solo work to offer this heartfelt song, "Your Love is Strong." He says, "Hi everybody. How are you doing? Hope everyone is healthy. 12 years ago today I put out a song called 'Your Love Is Strong' on an EP called, Spring, and it feels exceptionally relevant right now. I think we all, myself included, need to be reminded of a love that is stronger than our own, a love that will never let us go of our Maker. And, the fact that we're held together by something stronger than an economic system, by a political system. I hope that this song finds you wherever you are and reminds you of the love of your Maker. Goes like this."
This song is an honest and loving prayer to God from Jon that we can all join in during times of trouble and unrest. Jon sings, "So why should I worry? Why do I freak out? God knows what I need. You know what I need." This song is a challenge for us to spend time in prayer and devotion instead of worrying about what is really outside of our control, which is most of life. Take your worries to God in prayer and devotion to give it to Him.
Night 10: "Restless"
It seems like this time of panic will not end anytime soon and that a time of peace was so long ago. Jon recognizes the nation growing hopeless, so he addresses us, "Hello everybody. Hope you're well. I hope you're healthy. I hope you're keeping your family and community safe. This is a song for everyone out there who feels penned up, cooped up, starting to feel restless. This was inspired by what seems like months of rain, but really was days of rain, in the United Kingdom. One of my favorite authors to quote from, Saint Augustine, goes something like, 'our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you' and this is a song called 'Restless,' goes like this."
This pandemic has brought a lot of panic into people's lives. As Christians, we try to rest in God's peace. But, we often still revert back to our panicked selves because everyone else is. "Restless" offers a relatable message of feeling restless until true peace is felt. We all know how it feels to not be at peace, but also know the answer, as Saint Augustine quoted reminds us, it is in the Lord. Do you have a place or activity you can do that brings you peace? You need it.
Night 11: "Thrive"
Jon reflects on the vulnerability of life and says, "Hey everybody. Man, I hope everyone is having a better day than I am. Today felt like a rough one. Felt like everything was a struggle and then there, in the end, I found out my friend tested positive for COVID-19. And, so this song is going out to everyone who is wrestling with their situation. This is a song called 'Thrive.'"
Everyone has a situation in their life when we realize that we are only surviving, not truly living, not thriving in life. Jon wrote this song to explain how he wants to thrive in life, not just make it by. This song can challenge us to examine our lives are check where we are just "surviving" instead of "thriving." So, what is holding you back from thriving where you are at in life right now?
Night 12: "Daisy"
Jon shifts the focus from taking care of ourselves to noticing others with this song. He says, "Hey everybody. This song is dedicated to all the incredible moms that, on a daily basis, are there for their families. I've been home with my kids realizing what an incredible job mothers have every day--day in and day out. My wife is amazing, my kids are incredible. This one goes out to the moms out there, and my wife in particular, and to my daughter. This is a song called 'Daisy.' Goes like this.
As Jon pointed out, many of us are spending more time with family than usual, and less time with our friends than usual, because we need to stay home to stay safe from the virus. It puts in perspective the times that we take for granted. This song's lyrics seem to encourage us to not hold so tight to this world. We hold too tightly to things and people in our lives that we have no control over. And, Jon writes to tell us to "Just let it go." What do you need to let go of in this world in order to give your trust and control over to God?
Night 13: "We're Gonna Be Alright"
Jon has a cheerful song for everyone with this one. He says, "Hi everybody. I hope everyone is staying safe. This is a song that a lot of people wanted to hear and I don't really know it that well on the acoustic guitar... I've never played it like this but I figured it's a perfect time to try. It's a song called "We're Gonna Be Alright". Feels like somewhat of prayer right now. Goes like this."
Everyone needs a happy song to lift their spirits when they are struggling. This is one of Switchfoot's newest and best pick-me-up songs. Jon writes to remind us that, "It's ok to fear. It's ok when you feel small." but more importantly that, "We're gonna be alright. Just take a look at the sky. We're gonna be alright." Let this song remind you that it is OK to not feel great when you are struggling because regardless, we are going to be alright with a God who loves and cares for us.
Night 14: "Always"
"Always" offers a somber ending to week two of Jon's nightly musical sessions. He says, "Hey everyone. I hope you're doing well. This is a song that I wrote before my children were born. That I was imaging singing this song to them. Now they're here and they don't really wanna hear me sing (with a laugh). This is a song called 'Always' and I'm gonna sing it to you anyways. Goes like this."
This song follows a person's journey through life, through the highs and lows. From the positive first verse, "This is the start, this is your heart" to the somber second verse, "These are the scars deep in your heart." But, both are wrapped with the encouraging chorus of "But I am always yours." Jon writes to remind us that there is always hope and God is always here for us. Let this song challenge you to look back–or currently–at your life. Look for the evidence of God's always-present love and plan for your life.
We hope you're feeling more encouraged, at peace, and hopeful with these songs that Jon shared with us and by diving deeper into their meaning and application for us in our lives.
Ryan Adams, the rock reporter, has seen Switchfoot live in concert 3 times plus 2 acoustic sets. Jon Foreman is always full of hope and encouragement. Ryan is happy to share deeper thoughts during this time.
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