My Culture

God in the Lyrics

So, how is social distancing? Everybody staying sane? I am doing better than I thought I would, honestly. I have been working from home, calling friends on the phone, working on a lot on passion projects, streaming daily mass, and listening to SO much music. Jesus and music are what is keeping me from going crazy in my apartment.

Music is one of the most important parts of my life. I have so much respect for artists who can pour their heart out into a song with complete honesty and vulnerability, because that helps me operate in my own life, and learn to be a better me. Especially in this time of COVID-19, it is nice to hear about other people’s lives and be able to relate in real ways to their story.

As I have been in self-quarantine, there have been a few songs that have stuck with me that I would like to share. They are not hype-me-up songs, they are honestly not even happy songs, but they are beautiful pieces of art where the artist, whether they know it or not, express a strong desire for God. I wanted to share these songs because they have helped me reflect on my own desire for Christ, and even when I am in the darkest moments of my life, God is there with me.

These are not Christian songs, so if you listen to them on your own there may be curse words. There. There is a disclaimer. Back to the blog.

“Good News” by Mac Miller

Dang. I miss Mac. Mac Miller died on September 7th, 2018 of an accidental overdose at 26 years old. I was in Birmingham, Alabama for a friend’s wedding when I got the news. His album “Swimming” came out a month before on August 8th, and I was listening to it non-stop. Now, over a year after his death, Mac’s family and his friend/producer Jon Brion released his posthumous album, “Circles” on January 17th, 2020. The lead single of this posthumous album was “Good News,” which was released on January 9th, 2020.

This song hurts so much in the best way. Keep in mind, his death was accidental. His death should not have happened. On his 2018 album “Swimming”, Mac talked about his addictions, his views of the world we live in, and his desire to start believing in God. Now with “Good News” (track 2 of 12), Mac expressed how hard life is, and how nobody likes it when he is not happy. All people want to hear is good news. It is such a surreal song knowing that he had an accidental death, but he finished the song by singing these lyrics:

“There’s a whole lot more for me waitin’ on the other side / I’m always wonderin’ if it feel like summer / I know maybe I’m too late, I could make it there some other time / I’ll finally discover / That it ain’t that bad, ain’t so bad /Well, it ain’t that bad / At least it don’t gotta be no more”

This song reminds me of this Bible verse:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” -John 14:1-3

This is what we long for as Christians. We know that “There’s a whole lot more waitin’ on the other side”, this is what Jesus did for us. He prepared a way and showed us the path to the Father. We long for heaven, we long for everlasting rest in the arms of God. Knowing that Mac was also longing for heaven before his death, and knew that it was going to be so much better than what this world offers… it is the beautiful truth of what God has in store for us. Mac made this song with peace in his heart, may we find peace in the hope of heaven as well. There is so much more waiting for us on the other side in heaven. So as we are here on earth, live every day with hope in the resurrection. Live every day striving to love God more and more. Live every day bringing other people closer to God, showing them that they have a room in God’s house.

“Still Learning” by Halsey

This song was released on Halsey’s album, “Manic”, on January 17th, 2020. I was surprisingly pleased by this album as a whole. My friend and coworker Leah is a superfan of Halsey, so seeing Leah’s passion and hype behind the release of this album made me excited as well. The entire album is an honest outpouring of Halsey’s heart to reveal her pure longing for love and finding her strength in self-discovery.

One song that stood out to me, in particular, was, “Still Learning,” which is track 15 of 16 on the album. Halsey talks through the notion that she should be living the dream and have life easy just because she is a celebrity because that is what the Hollywood dream consists of. In reality, however, she says that she is struggling with paranoia, self-esteem, and making amends with loved ones. These are the lines to the chorus:

“I’m still learning to love myself / Oh, I try and I try to remember sometimes / If I breathe, it’s alright, but some things don’t change / I’m still learning to love myself”

And this is the Bible verse that I thought of:
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:6-8

We can never fully love ourselves until we understand how much God loves us. We love ourselves more and more when we understand that even when we are at our worst, God still loves us with an infinite amount of love. He cares for us so much that he sent his son to literally die for you and for me. That is crazy! But it is so true. Once we understand the weight of God’s love for us, only then can we start to wrap our heads around how much we actually mean to God. We find our true worth in Christ because Christ loves us more than we could ever know.

“Changes” by Justin Bieber

I once accidentally scared Justin Bieber in an elevator, but that’s a story for another time. Justin has been on my “pray for celebrities” shortlist for a few years now. He is coming back around to living his life right, loving his family well, and desiring to love God and to be loved by God, which is awesome. His most recent album, “Changes”, was released on February 14th, 2020, which serves as a love-note to his wife, Hailey Bieber. Out of all the sparkly pop tracks that Justin gave us on this album, the song that resonated with me the most was the title track, “Changes”, which is track 13 of 17.

On the track, “Changes”, Justin is accompanied by a simple acoustic guitar and is singing to his wife about his struggles of living a constant life, and how life for him as an imperfect human can have its ups and downs.

This is the chorus:
“I’m goin’ through changes / Though I’m goin’ through changes / Don’t mean that I’ll change”

This echoes the idea of our basic human condition; we as humans grow every second of every day, we face struggles in our lives, and we work through emotions. Justin does not leave us there, though. As the very end of the song Justin puts in a short spoken lyric that says:

“People change, circumstances change / But God always remains the same”

Which pairs so well with this Bible verse:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8

People… Jesus. Christ. Will. Never. Change. God is a constant in our lives. As much as our lives change, God is never changing and always offers us an unmatched peace and love. God is here for you in every single moment of your life, whether you think so or not. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Through all seasons of life, we have the unchanging love and serenity of God. Turn to Him in times of change, and he will be with you.

Maybe you are like Mac Miller, and people are expecting so much from you that you can barely breathe.

Maybe you are like Halsey, where you are scrambling to make your life perfect you forget to love yourself.

Maybe you are like Justin Bieber, that no matter how hard you try, you can never keep a constant mindset or lifestyle.

No matter what you are going through in your life, God loves you more than you can imagine. God is here to look after you, God is here to remind you of his love, God is here to be that beautiful constant for you. Jesus Christ desires to have a relationship with you that will last for eternity. He has prepared a place for you at His table, in His home. He calls you a daughter. A son. He is with you to walk through every part of life, no matter the circumstance.

Let God into your life and you will find a home, an everlasting love that will never change.

Photo by unsplash-logoEric Nopanen

About the Author

Josh Rogers
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