My friend and colleague in ministry, Ian Nagata, released his first album this past week, and I was very excited to listen to it. A year ago I had blogged my thoughts related to one of the songs on this album, called The Joy that Hides in You. That song, along now with a few others on the album that take the form of laments, continues to minister deeply to my heart in the midst of struggle and suffering and sorrow. What resonates so deeply from those songs is the reality that suffering, though very real, does not have the final word. And in that there is a joy that is hidden (i.e. not immediately apparent)–that the sorrow and suffering I face brings me into deeper communion with my suffering Savior, and in fact He is using that suffering to form His character in me in a way that could not happen apart from the pain. So rather than finding joy by escaping from the suffering, there is actually joy in the midst of the suffering–that is the joy that hides in Christ, and that is the joy that shines so clearly in these beautiful songs that Ian has put together.
You can check out Ian’s album here.