I have been remiss in my writing and blogging commitment to myself and others lately. Busyness has crept in over the past couple months as all that begins in the fall goes full steam ahead. But reading this little post from Justin Taylor on this CT interview with Steven Curtis Chapman sparked my thinking.
As you may remember, Chapman’s five year old adopted daughter Maria died in tragic accident in their driveway in May of last year. I have always appreciated Chapman’s heart, his music, the fact that he is not a music artist that is stuck on himself, he enjoys and has fun in his concerts, but he always sings the truth and proclaims God through his music.
Steven is putting out his first album since her death, so the interview concerns both topics. What struck me from this interview and their process of dealing with the grief of their loss was this interchange. Chapman begins, and then the interviewer inserts a comment:
But it wouldn’t be long before I would go, “But, God, what? How could this happen? How are we ever going to survive?” And it’s like here I go back into that black, dark place.
But there was a grace to even recognize that you were falling into that place.
Yes. That is the grace and the gift of God to be able, in that process, to make that choice. That’s the crazy theology of all that—to even be able to make that choice to say, “God, I trust you,” that is a gift of grace. But we’re making that choice over and over again.
Everything is a gift of grace, even the ability to make the choice to believe what God says is true in the face of great suffering and loss. He says it well in the verse he added to the song, “Yours,” after the death of his daughter.
I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.
It’s all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor
and it’s all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
You’re the maker and keeper, Father and ruler of everything, It’s all Yours
Lord, help me to relish, enjoy, depend on, and praise the wonder of your grace, in good times as well as hard times.