Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SONGS I LIKE: There Is A Reason (Allison Kraus and Union Station)

Why do we suffer, crossing off the years
There must be a reason for it all

Allison Krauss
One of the toughest parts of being a Christian is facing how hard and painful life is. Everyone faces this, but a Christian understands that there is a purpose and meaning to life held by a loving God. And this is a quandary which theologians call "theodicy" in which they try to reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of an all-powerful, loving, and righteous God.

Nobody really has the perfect answer for this, and its something all Christians eventually struggle with. Ron Black wrote the song "There Is A Reason" about this struggle, between faith and hard questions. Its on the album So Long, So Wrong by Allison Kraus and Union Station, and its the final song, a beautiful arrangement of a soul crying out in pain.

Christians can take comfort in the knowledge that God knows what he's doing even when we do not, and we can trust God's judgement and wisdom. But even while knowing and believing that, we feel the pain and cry out like Job did and like the Psalms are often written about. R.C. Sproul admits there's a tough question in theodicy, but he also points out that if you don't believe in God, you have an even tougher question. The Christian has a hard time explaining where evil came from, but the atheist can't explain it either - nor can he explain where good comes from.

Allison Krauss' beautiful voice frames this song perfectly, and its a wonderful testament of faith and hope in the face of hardship that reaches out to everyone. There is a reason.

I've seen hard times and I've been told
There isn't any wonder that I fall
Why do we suffer, crossing off the years
There must be a reason for it all

I've trusted in You, Jesus, to save me from my sin
Heaven is the place I call my home
But I keep on getting caught up in this world I'm living in
And Your voice it sometimes fades before I know

Hurtin' brings my heart to You, crying with my need
Depending on Your love to carry me
The love that shed His blood for all the world to see
This must be the reason for it all

Hurtin' brings my heart to You, a fortress in the storm
When what I wrap my heart around is gone
I give my heart so easily to the ruler of this world
When the one who loves me most will give me all

In all the things that cause me pain You give me eyes to see
I do believe but help my unbelief
I've seen hard times and I've been told
There is a reason for it all

Incidentally, this is a "praise song" which I happen to like, largely because of the bluegrass/country arrangement which jettisons the usual breathless crap they are usually written in. I still wouldn't consider it appropriate for a corporate worship service.

This is part of the Songs I Like series.

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