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You Found Me
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
02/20/2009

The Song: “You Found Me” by The Fray

Main Point of Discussion: Where can we find God in the midst of trials and tragedies?

Vital Info Before You Get Started: (The following should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)

  • The starting point for this song was back in 2006 when frontman Isaac Slade—after witnessing various crises among people close to him—pondered why bad things happen to good people. The lyrics came from those internal deliberations. Slade said on The Fray's website that this was a tough song for him to write: "Its about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you're let down, sometimes you're the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I'm still right in the thick of it. There's some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest."

  • Slade told The Sun, February 6, 2009: "I dreamt I ran into God on a street corner. He looked like Bruce Springsteen and he was smoking a cigarette. I had it out with him and asked 'Where were you when all this bad stuff was happening to these very undeserving, good people?'" Slade, whose Christian faith is important to him, added: "There were tough times. I was questioning my faith, angry at things that had happened in my life and the lives of my friends. A friend had suffered a miscarriage, I had lost my grandfather. I was angry and the song felt angry and hopeless too. I imagined what I'd say to God, in the face of all the crap my friends have gone through in the last couple of years." (www.songfacts.com)

  • The band admits that the music video goes in a different direction than the song’s lyrics…so we recommend talking about just the song.

  • If you want, you can print out the lyrics (below) and give each family member a copy to refer to.

  • Above all, don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

Lyrics:
    I found God on the corner of 1st and Amistad
    Where the West was all but won
    All alone, smoking his last cigarette
    I said, "Where've you been?" He said, "Ask anything."

    Where were you, when everything was falling apart.
    All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang
    And all I needed was a call that never came
    To the corner of 1st and Amistad

    [chorus]
    Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me
    Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded
    Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
    Just a little late, you found me, you found me.

    But in the end everyone ends up alone
    Losing her, the only one who's ever known
    Who I am, who I'm not and who I wanna to be
    No way to know how long she will be next to me

    [chorus]

    The early morning, the city breaks
    And I've been calling for years and years and years
    And you never left me no messages
    You never sent me no letters
    You got some kind of nerve taking all I want

    Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me
    Lying on the floor, Where were you? Where were you?

    Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me
    Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded

    Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
    Just a little late, you found me, you found me.

    Why'd you have to wait, to find me, to find me?

    [The Fray Lyrics are found on www.songlyrics.com ]

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message of this song?

A: God shows up in the singer’s life, but not in enough time to rescue him from the time when his whole world was falling apart—and he asks God why.

Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this song?
A: By referring to Job’s crisis in the Old Testament. Job had everything—then God allowed him to lose it all. While remaining faithful for a time, Job eventually demanded that God explain himself—and God answered with more questions along the lines of, “Where were you when I created the heavens and the earth? Answer me, little man.” God reminded Job who’s in charge—and that God is with us in the midst of our suffering. God hasn’t left.

Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this song to actually living out those opinions?
A: One of the hardest questions to deal with in matters of faith is why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Job was a righteous man, yet God allowed him to suffer. The same thing happens to a lot people we know—and we may not need to think too hard to recall times when it’s happened to us. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re “good” or “bad”—God allows the rain to fall on the righteous and unrighteous alike (Matthew 5:45). The point is that we need to trust God in the midst of trials—maybe the hardest thing for anyone (even a Christian) to pull off. How can we manage that? Lots of prayer, support from fellow believers, and remembering Job (as well as many other biblical figures who didn’t escape this world without enduring a lot of suffering).


Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.



For Deeper Discussion: (If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)

CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.

Transitional Statement:

A lot of issues are raised in this song, primarily revolving around feelings of loneliness, trials, and asking some critical questions about God and life. What’s interesting is that these same questions and issues are found in what most scholars believe is the oldest book in the Bible.


More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Do you think it’s okay to question God? Why or why not?

  2. Okay, now I’m going to hand each of you a piece of paper.

    (Pass out one piece of blank paper to every family member.)

    ‘You Found Me’ brings up one of the toughest questions people ask God: ‘Where is God when bad things happen?’ Let’s take a moment and each write about times in our lives that have caused us to question or even doubt God. Take a few minutes and write down what happened and what questions you had for God at the time. (Parents—be sure to give an example or two from your own life.)

    (Give your family members a few minutes to complete this exercise.)



  3. ASK ONE FAMILY MEMBER: Does God owe us answers in the tough times? Why or why not?

  4. (Give a brief background of the story of Job.)

    Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Job 1:13-22 (NLT)
      One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

      16 While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

      17 While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

      18 While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. 19 Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

      20 Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. 21 He said,

      “I came naked from my mother’s womb,
      and I will be naked when I leave.
      The LORD gave me what I had,
      and the LORD has taken it away.
      Praise the name of the LORD!”

      22 In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.


  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If you were in Job’s situation, would you wonder where God was? Why or why not?

  6. (Summarize the rest of the story with Job in terms of his friends’ poor view of trials... i.e. because Job had sin in his life.)

    Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Job 31:35-37 (NLT)
      If only someone would listen to me!
      Look, I will sign my name to my defense.
      Let the Almighty answer me.
      Let my accuser write out the charges against me.
      I would face the accusation proudly.
      I would wear it like a crown.
      For I would tell him exactly what I have done.
      I would come before him like a prince.

    (Explain that these are the words of Job, and he is basically trying to justify himself before God as being innocent and therefore doesn’t deserve trials.)



  7. ASK SOMEONE: Do you believe Job was totally innocent? Why or why not?


  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Is there a relationship between our sin and the trials we go through? Why or why not?

  9. (Explain that God does take the time to answer Job, basically telling Job that life is a lot more complicated than just ‘good times’ and ‘bad times’ - as well as painting a clear picture that God is in complete control even when it looks bad from our vantage point.)


    Read the following passage from the Bible:

      Job 42:1-6 (NLT)
      Then Job replied to the LORD:
      “I know that you can do anything,
      and no one can stop you.
      You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
      It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
      things far too wonderful for me.
      You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!
      I have some questions for you,
      and you must answer them.’
      I had only heard about you before,
      but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
      I take back everything I said,
      and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”


  10. ASK SOMEONE: What changed Job’s attitude?


  11. ASK A FEW: How should becoming aware that there is a bigger picture and that God is in control impact our attitude during difficult times?

  12. (On the back of the paper your family members used at the beginning of the meeting, ask them to now write out an imaginary letter that Job might send to them in answer to their difficult circumstances.)


Wrap Up:
Tonight we’ve been talking about how our difficult times can often cause us to question God’s goodness or even if He is still there for us. The clear message from Job is that while it may seem like God is distant or uncaring when trials come our way, the fact is that there is a much bigger picture that we can’t see, and the bottom line is that we need to trust that God is in control.

Optional Closing Illustration:
If you, as a leader, have a personal story of a time in your life when you went through a difficult time and felt confused or wondered where God was but later were able to look back and understand or see how God was there in the midst, you could share this now if appropriate. Personal stories can be some of the most powerful and easy to relate to.

Close in Prayer

By Lane Palmer


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