The Good in the Bad with Luke Smallbone
Embracing the good God is doing in tough circumstances
Luke Smallbone knows the pandemic was tough on so many people. It was miserable and tragic. But for him and his family, although it ended his musical tour at the time, he carefully and thoughtfully shares that it was a gift and a refreshing time for him. “It’s the longest amount of time that I’ve been home since I’ve been married, and it’s been eleven years.” Doing some reflecting, he realized maybe he’d worked too much, and he embraced the unusual time for his family to be home, making unique memories.
Not being able to do what you normally do can force you to learn more and deepen your relationships, especially if you are isolated together. It knocks you off balance at first because it’s different from your routine. Then you get to choose how you’ll respond.
When Luke got word of the pandemic shut down, for King & Country was just beginning a twelve-show run. March tenth was their first show. They’d performed in Ottawa, Canada and were about to do a show in Toronto when they received the news, they’d be returning home immediately after that show.
On their return trip, his children asked what this would mean since they knew it was how their dad made a living. Children learn so much just by watching and experiencing things with their parents. It’s tough when the answer has to be, “You know, I don’t really know.”
“I don’t know what this means. But what I do know is this, faith is required when things are uncertain.”
Luke continued, “For the most part, when things are easy, sadly, it’s not something we turn to very often.”
It’s a caution to all of us. When things are going well, we should have the same praying watchfulness as when things are not. Luke explained to his children, “But that’s not usually how human beings work. This is the moment where we practice what we preach.”
That’s what Luke did. In faith, he trusted God.
- He trusted that what was out of his control would work out for good.
- He trusted that God wasn’t surprised by any of this.
- He recognized he was really concerned about a lot of external things.
- And he knew if one of his family got really sick, God knew it was coming.
Realizing there’s a lot of fear, when we should trust God with what is happening, Luke had an opportunity to practice being fearless when he had surgery in the midst of the pandemic. Even though he sang his whole life, he never had any vocal issues, but a few months in, not doing shows, he began to have issues with his voice.
He’d been talking a lot on Zoom and in interviews and his voice started sounding strange. His brother, Joel, noticed and told him he should get it checked. He spent a month in silence, but eventually had to have surgery to remove a blood blister, or polyp, from his vocal cords.
Dodging fear and the “what ifs,” Luke forged forward and had the surgery. He wondered what would happen if he couldn’t sing anymore. He pondered if his identity was wrapped up in that. He questioned whether his focus was on God’s calling and purpose or on feeding his own ego.
In the five days of silence after Luke’s surgery, through earnest prayer, Luke felt God clearly confirm that it wasn’t about what he could do or achieve for God.
“It’s the fact that, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you.’”
Think about what He did for you.
Luke became willing to give up his singing and trust God to provide. He was convinced God would give him something else to do.
Praise God, Luke began to sing again!
In the difficulties of life, he says, “You can either run to God or run from Him.” If you run from Him, you can’t trust what you’re running to.
- In the middle of a difficult situation, turn your focus on God, not the situation.
- Dwell on what you know to be true about Him and His love for you.
- “Know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28a ESV).
- Ask Him to show you glimpses of the good He is doing.
So often, it’s not at all what you would think of, like an extended time at home after years of traveling and performing. God sees the big picture and, during a troubling circumstance, provides the peaceful rest you need. He turns the bad into something good.
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