Hope in the Midst of Suffering

On Saturday, Dan and I went to see Steven Curtis Chapman perform at our local county fair.  I’ve been a fan for years, but I’d never had the opportunity to see him standing up on the stage, strumming his guitar.  And after last May, I wondered if I’d ever have the chance to see him in concert.

Most of you are probably familiar with the story of what happened to his family.  On May 21st, Chapman’s youngest adopted child, Maria, was tragically killed in an automobile accident when her older brother accidentally hit her with the family car.

People respond all sorts of ways to tragedy.  Some dive deeply into despair.  Some cast blame and get angry.  Others, like the Chapmans, turn to God and receive amazing grace and hope, even in their darkest hour.  People around the country reached out to the Chapmans and lifted them up in prayer, and the family was thankful for the support.  Eventually, they spoke on Good Morning America in a touching interview that expresses the amazing depth of their faith and how much God has helped them through their suffering (click here to watch the interview).

Chapman started his concert with a song for the broken hearted.  “Blessed Be Your Name,” written by Tree 63, which is one of the most difficult songs to sing for someone going through a trial.  It echoes Job’s words of resignation and acceptance “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (1:21).  When Chapman sang the chorus, we all knew what he was singing about, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  What a way to start a concert:

“Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say…
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name”

I love how deeply personal and open he’s been through the whole experience.  And this concert was no different.  Chapman chose to add new lines to some of his more famous songs to represent the truth he’s learned in this suffering.  He stood up on stage and read the scriptures that have held him together during these past several months, and we all came away feeling like we’d seen a heart laid bare.

May God continue to bless the Chapman family in their time of grief, and also, may God continue to use their tragedy as an amazing testimony of hope in Jesus.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I recently heard Dr. Dobson interview Steven Curtis Chapman on his radio program. What a wonderful testimony of hope and peace in the midst of suffering and loss!

    AL: Thanks for stopping by my site. I’ll have to check out those interviews. I found them online. It looks like it was a 3 part series, and I’m sure they’re great. here’s part 1

    Here’s part 2

    Here’s part 3

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I have watched the GMA and Larry King interviews with SCC and family. I greatly enjoyed hearing this story about the concert you attended. How touching! I am amazed at how they have been able to praise God through all of this. what a wonderful testimony, and truly His grace IS sufficient. 🙂

    AL: It sounds like his family has really been using the media for God’s glory here. I can’t believe how much coverage they have gotten, but probably, they deserve to have gotten more for how much they could minister to people who have also suffered loss. I know that at the concert, he was speaking directly to anybody who had ever experienced significant loss and told them the only place for hope and healing was Jesus. And he’s been there, just a few months ago, and he’s up on stage singing God praises. You’ve got to believe the guy, with evidence like that right before your eyes.

  3. Thanks for including the link to the GMA interview.
    I was truly inspired by the Chapman’s testimony about their grief and joy. What a blessing to see them in concert! “Blessed be your Name” is on of my favorite praise songs – it’s just one of those songs that makes you smile and cry and lift your hands higher.
    Psalm 30:4 ” Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise His holy name”.
    Rose

    AL: I thought it was a great interview too. Bit tough when they mix in that Cinderella song! At the concert, he sang that, but he changed the last words that they used in that interview version (the radio one too), the ones where it ends “she’ll be gone.” He changed it to “the dance goes on” or something like that, because he wanted to show that he knew that he was going to dancing with his little girl again. All the ladies were weeping.


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