“Father Along” – Josh Garrels
Everyone has certain songs that hit you “right in the feels”. You know those songs that bring the emotion right out of you. It’s like the music reaches down into your soul and stirs up something that you forget you have in the monotony of day-to-day life. One artist who captures that feeling for me in his music is Josh Garrels. Josh is a folk singer from the greatest state in the country, INDIANA (though he currently resides in Portland). While I highly recommend all of his music, one particular song I think is just gorgeous is “Farther Along”.
“Farther Along” tells a story that I believe all people find themselves in. During the opening stanza, Josh sings:
Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
This is a common question in our society. How come bad things happen to good people, and likewise, how come seemingly bad people get all the blessings? Why has that guy who never works hard been blessed with all that athleticism? How come that girl who is so mean to others is able to sing so well? How did that jerk get such an awesome job?
I’ve found myself asking the same questions at times. I’ve envied my neighbors and coveted what they have. And while I do this, I completely ignore my own sinfulness. I completely forget the very simple commandment, “You shall not covet”(Exodus 20:17). In addition to this, in my desire to reach for something bigger and better, I completely ignore the gifts God has given me to serve him.
Luckily, Josh gives us a very Godly response in the chorus:
Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by
“Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine. We’ll understand this, all by and by.” These words should be a relief to us all. We don’t need to worry about knowing all these answers. That’s not our job. We’re here to live in the sunshine. Live in the light. And we’re here to love people and invite them into the light with us.
This leads us to Josh’s lyrics towards the end of the song:
And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of God is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon
“Every knee must bow and tongue confess.” Let that sink in. When that day comes, nothing else will matter. It won’t matter if you can sing like Elvis or if you’ve been banned from a microphone forever. It won’t matter if you’re a super-model or the ugliest kid on the block. There will be no difference between a calculous person or just a person with a calculator. Every knee must bow and every tongue will confess.
It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'" –Romans 14:11