"When," a song from Den's latest album, Taming Tongues, is raw and honest. It explores the ever-present question in our lives that asks "When will this end?" The rock band is currently making weekly video podcasts that go in-depth on the album, as well as song-by-song discussions with each band member. This devotion is my own thoughts and interpretation of "When." So, let us explore the questions and thoughts behind this question, "When will this end?"
A Real Struggle
"Oh, how I long to plant roots/But where are the labors from this empty womb?/I anxiously tend what I’ve sown/But it’s taking longer than I would have hoped"
John 16:33 (NLT):"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
As followers of Christ, we should expect times of great difficulty and struggle to be a part of our walk with God. Jesus warns us of this specifically. When we find ourselves in a difficult situation in our lives, our patience is tested, as we weather out the storm. But, most of the struggles in our lives are out of our control, and we anxiously await for something good to happen. Every day in the darkness and the waiting feels like an eternity. Even though Jesus offers peace during these times, it can be difficult to grasp that peace.
"Oh, how this blight never ends/Can this season be over and new life begin?/I’m desperate to see something grow/But there’s no more time now and I’m losing hope"
Psalm 25:16-17(NLT):"Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish."
Wherever you find yourself, in whatever situation, you need to know a couple of things. First, you're not the only one who feels this way. We can look at many people in the Bible who have experienced very difficult situations, oftentimes for many years on end. Besides that, you have other people in the present who can relate to you and help you. As you open up and be honest with others, you will find others like you. Secondly, the song's chorus points out that it's okay to honestly confront God about how you're feeling. He is big enough to handle anything you say and nothing you say can cause Him to love you less.
An Honest Conversation
"Today, If I’m honest, you must be asleep from what I see/So now if you notice, this feels like eternity to me/When will this end?"
The question of "When will this end?" is seen often in the lives of God's chosen people in the Bible. Habakkuk 1:2 (NLT) for example cries out, "How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save?" The prophet Jeremiah wrote Lamentations as a lament to the destruction that lay before him and his people.
King David wrote many Psalms based on his times of discouragement and struggle. Psalms 25 and 31 are a great couple of examples. The Israelites in Egypt struggled for many years. Exodus 2:23 says, "Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God."
When we talk to God about our struggles, we're not telling him information that He's unaware of, rather we admit our need of His provision and power in our lives. If His chosen people were open and honest about their feelings toward God, then it teaches us that we can, too. And, that it is okay. "When will this end?" is a question that often arises in life. But, until our suffering ends, whether temporary or eternally, we live in faith. The same prophets and people who questioned God in the Bible are the same ones who acted in trust and courage. Greater faith and a stronger relationship with God is the outcome of trusting the Lord through the questioning.
A Final Word
"When" is just one of many well-written songs on Taming Tongues. Dens have challenged us to be honest with our feelings and questions with God. Sometimes we feel like our questions and feelings are out of place to talk to a mighty God like this. But, we also must remember that He is a caring and understanding God. Even though we question "why?," we can always resolve to trust in God's great plan despite life's struggles.
Ryan Adams grew up in Boise, Idaho. He fell in love with heavy music through his high school best friend. As a pastor's kid, he learned to know Christ's love early on. He shares his passion for both with NRT now. // Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
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