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#1015 - "Remind Me You're Here" by Jason Gray
NRT's Kevin Davis speaks to the singer-songwriter about the inspiration behind his latest single.

Posted: April 15, 2020 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Ever since I first heard Jason Gray's "Blessed Be," a song from his album All the Lovely Losers, I was hooked by the emotional and biblical messages of his music. In fact, "Blessed Be" was the 8th tune I featured for my Behind the Song devotional article series, which started back in March 2008. I've since featured many more of Jason's songs. In fact, this is our 18th devotional together, making Jason the most featured artist over the past 12 years.

I'm always excited to hear new music from Jason. Last year, he released his new EP, Order, the first of three five-song EPs the artist will release over a year’s time. The names of each EP are Order, Disorder, and Reorder. Jason plans to tell a story of the process of transformation in three five-song volumes. Order featured the hit songs, "I'm Gonna Let it Go" and "Order Disorder Reorder." The Disorder EP was preceded by his hit song, “Remind Me You’re Here.”

Once again, Jason invites listeners into his story of faith. Each song features his unique brand of lyrical phrasing embedded with the truth of the gospel for those with ears to hear. Jason is one of my favorite songwriters because his songs are so emotional, vulnerable, and authentic. He's an artist who sings the truth of what it means to walk with God. He's an anointed artist who works out his salvation with fear and trembling in his music.
Jason has a profound way of piercing my soul with his poignant words, tender singing, and inspirational truths. Similar to his previous releases, the album's central theme is about finding identity in Christ, being honest and transparent with self and others to allow God's grace to shine in our lives by demonstrating how, in our weakness, His strength is made perfect. I had the chance to speak with Jason about "Remind Me You’re Here."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

For this song, I was inspired by the story of Jayme Closs, a 13-year-old who was kidnapped at her home in Wisconsin in October 2018. A man broke into her house, murdered her parents, and kidnapped her. This event made the national news. I remember hearing the story and wanting God to intervene and save her somehow. Eighty-eight days later in January 2019, the girl escaped from her kidnapper. She was later found by a woman walking her dog.

When I saw that story, I remember saying a prayer, thanking God for saving her. It didn’t feel totally right to thank Him at that moment. I realized that I was giving myself a nice experience of feeling secure that God is in control, and that He answers prayers.

I felt like I had done something good by praying for this girl and having these prayers answered. I felt good, but it didn’t stand up much to scrutiny. I’m thanking God that He intervened in January. But, I wrestled with the fact that I should have prayed for Him to intervene earlier before her parents were murdered.

I’m not giving God any real credit for rescuing the girl if I’m not holding Him responsible for what happened. That’s where the song started for me, wrestling with these inconsistencies and making sure I’m not giving myself a nice religious experience, but I’m actually engaged with what belief and trust really demand of us.

God enters Job’s conversation and commends Job for speaking truthfully about God. What God wants most of all is our hearts. He wants us to bring our unedited selves to Him, with intimacy and honesty. God gives us His presence in return and that was enough for Job and should be for us.
Who could've predicted the release date for the Disorder EP, that we decided six months ago, would end up being so relevant; the very week our whole world is upended by a microscopic virus that is casting a tall shadow over all that we care about?

Disorder is when our plan falls apart; when we find we aren't as in control as we think we are. Reminded of our vulnerability, we are broken down and opened up enough to meet with God in a profound way.

We think we want answers when the catastrophes of life hit. But, the story of Job reminds us that an answer isn't always what we need or even desire the most. Answers rarely, if ever, bring healing. Rather, healing comes when we experience the presence of God in the midst of our suffering. Our questions burn away like fog at sunrise and, in their place, comes the deep sense that we are held.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Job 42:4-5 (VOICE): “You said, 'Hear Me now, and I will speak. I’ll be asking the questions, and you will supply the answers.”'Before I knew only what I had heard of You, but now I have seen You.”

Job 1:20-22 (NKJV): "Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.' In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong."
Isaiah 63:9 (NKJV): “In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity, He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them all the days of old.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV): "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

Romans 8:28 (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 is the takeaway message?

God's ways are higher than our ways. 
"Remind Me You're Here" affirms wrestling and questioning with intimacy, as well as a desire for God’s presence. Disorder is when our order falls apart. Maybe through a relationship that breaks down, or a job loss, or even a global pandemic. And, though it can be scary and painful, disorder isn't necessarily evil. It's so often where we meet with God most profoundly and where He usually gets His best work done in us, setting the stage for our transformation.

We've all gone through hardships, coming out the other side as a wiser, stronger, and more compassionate version of ourselves. Not to mention we have more humility. That, of course, is the beginning of reorder. But, that's a story for another time.

For today, I pray that God will help us embrace disorder as a place of hope where he meets with us and our remaking begins. I hope you find these songs a meaningful and steady companion on your own journey of transformation through order, disorder, and reorder. Maybe now more than ever.

None of my pain
Has ever caught You by surprise
Still it's hard to trust You
When I'm lost in the wondering why
But I'll trade every question
Just to lay down and rest in Your heart
And I'll reach for Your hand
Though You led me here into the dark
And I won't ask You for reasons
'Cause a reason can't wipe away tears
No, I don't need all the answers
Just be here beside me
Father, remind me You're here, here
If it's random or providence
Neither are a comfort to me
Are You cruel if You planned it
Or weak if You allowed it to be
Half of me is still believing
The other half is angry and confused
Oh, but all of me is desperate
And longing to be held by You
And I won't ask You for reasons
'Cause a reason can't wipe away tears
No, I don't need all the answers
Just be here beside me
Father, remind me You're here, here
Get me outta my mind
And into Your arms
Where hope comes alive
And fear falls apart
I won't ask You for reasons
'Cause a reason can't wipe away tears
No, I don't need all the answers
Just be here beside me
Come be here beside me
And I won't ask You for reasons
'Cause a reason can't wipe away tears
No, I don't need all the answers
Just be here beside me
Father, remind me You're here, here
Just need to know
That You're here, here
I just need to know
That You're here
Closing Thoughts
Once you adopt the words of 
"Remind Me You're Here" into your heart, you will remember the truth of what Jesus has always been: He is today, and He's the one who makes a way for us--even when it seems impossible. That's something to remember and rest upon. In any situation, God will make a way for His children.

As you look at our fallen world, lift your eyes up to God and put all your faith and hope in Him. It's in your weakness that He is made strong. It's only through God's grace that you can overcome your emotional conflicts of feeling invisible and conspicuous at the same time. 
I think God included the book of Job as a reminder of how He wants us to handle trials. In that scripture, Satan is testing God's servant, Job, to see if he would lose his faith by causing him pain and suffering. Job's friends counsel him that he must have unrepented sins that are causing him the calamities of losing his family and his health. Commit your life to Jesus and offer Him your heart.

There's a lyric in the song: "I just need to know that You're here." That's the bottom line. We have nothing to bring to our battles except the Lord. When we're on our knees before Him like Job, raising our empty hands, we are closest to God. That's a gift God wants His children to have. What a gift and promise to know that He makes beauty out of our ashes. That's worthy of praise. We need to live each day knowing that despite circumstances, God has a plan for "those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). 
"Remind Me You're Here" is a great reminder that our circumstances don't define our joy. Our position in Christ and His unending faithfulness is worthy of our gratitude and adoration. This song gives me more conviction to not feel worthless or afraid--especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Spend less time worrying. Let your worries go. Allow the Lord to be your redeemer. We live in a fallen and sinful world. “Remind Me You’re Here” is a gorgeous offering of praise to the only one who has the power to save. It is a very singable song, and I love singing the Book of Job-inspired introspective lyrics, “I won't ask You for reasons, 'Cause a reason can't wipe away tears, No, I don't need all the answers, Just be here beside me, Father, remind me You're here.” Amen to that.

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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