Without question my favorite musical artist is Rich Mullins. It seems impossible to believe that he has been gone for over 12 years now. I discovered his music not long after I committed my life to Jesus. There was a girl I had a crush on who loved Rich Mullins, and… Well, she and I never became more than friends, but through her friendship I fell in love with the music of Rich Mullins. I confess that I cannot always agree with him in everything theological, but I have never encountered anyone who could express the depth of feeling in music as he did. This past week my wife was kind enough to find my Rich Mullins cd’s. I have ripped them into iTunes and they have been playing almost constantly since then. As I was listening to a demo track from what turned out to be Mullins’ last recording session on a glorified tape recorder in an obscure church, I found myself completely in tears. The song is titled, “Hard To Get.” If you want the real impact of this song, listen to Rich sing it on that rough recording and not the performed track. The song is about someone who is struggling to see God’s hand. This person sees all these things going on and cry out to God believing that He is entirely capable of meeting all his needs but not understanding why He does not see to do so. The last few lines of the song are the ones that always bring me to tears. “I can’t see how your leading me, unless you’ve led me here. To where I’m lost enough to let myself be led. And so you’ve been here all along I guess. It’s just your ways and you are just plain hard to get.”
I can think back to countless times in my life when I could not understand what was going on. Everything in my world seemed to be falling apart, and God seemed to be conspicuously quiet and aloof. I knew that He had not forsaken me. I knew that my situation did not take Him by surprise. I knew that He allowed it to happen to bring Him glory for some reason. But I could not understand it at the time. I needed to hear His voice. I needed to know that He was near me and that it was going to be OK. I felt like I was on an out of control rollercoaster just waiting to go off the tracks. Perhaps you are in that situation now. Perhaps your world is upside down and you wonder how in the world God can still be in control in the midst of your situation. Rest assured there is great wisdom in the lyrics above. Every time in my life I have gone through those quiet nights when it seems that God is a million miles away, every time it seems as though I am bumping about in the dark because I can no longer feel Him leading me, every time He has been leading me to a point at which I am willing to surrender to Him and let myself be led by Him. I must confess that I still don’t always understand what God was doing in me and through me during those times. His ways are higher than our ways, and we will never be able to truly understand them completely. But no matter what you are going through right now, you can know with certainty that if you have a relationship with Jesus, He is right there with you in the midst of whatever you are experiencing – even when it doesn’t seem like it.