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Music Discussions

You Found Me
11/21/2008

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

Here’s a little background--and some quotes from Isaac (of The Fray)--about "You Found Me":
    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)
Note to Youth Leaders: The band admits that the video goes a different direction than the lyrics… so we’ll talk about just the song.

At THE SOURCE FOR YOUTH MINISTRY we like to use pop culture references to start Biblical conversation (just like the Apostle Paul used culture to start conversations about Jesus in Acts 17). This song might be a good discussion starter in some circles. If you want, you can print out the lyrics (below) and give each student a copy to refer to.

Introducing the Song:
Many of you might know,
“You Found Me” by the Fray. I'll play the song, and then I want to hear from you.
    Lyrics: "You Found Me"

    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 ]
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.

Large Group Questions:

  1. Why is God portrayed as a person smoking a cigarette and waiting on a corner?


  2. Do you think it’s okay to question God? Why or why not?

Transitional Statement:
The Fray brings up serious issues to God in the midst of loneliness and loss. What’s interesting is that these same questions and issues are found in what most scholars believe is the oldest book in the Bible.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups to discuss this, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, let’s each of us say our names and favorite CDs at the moment.


  2. Okay, now I’m going to hand each of you a piece of paper. (Pass out one piece of blank paper to every student.)

    ‘You Found Me’ brings up one of the toughest questions people ask God: ‘Where is God when bad things happen?’ Right now, we’re going to take a moment and write something that NO ONE ELSE will see: The 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. (Leaders- be sure to give an example or two from your own life.)

    (Give students a few minutes to complete this exercise.)

    Don’t worry… no one will see this piece of paper but you… so you can be honest. You have just 5-10 minutes to work on your list.

  3. ASK A FEW: How many of you had more than one example?


  4. It’s not surprising that we all have had times in our lives where things have gone differently than we expected and it has caused us to wonder where God was in the midst of those trials.

  5. ASK A FEW: In The Fray’s song, ‘You Found Me,’ they raise some serious questions for God- let me highlight the 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.
      Why'd you have to wait, to find me, to find me?

    Do you think he has resolved his disappointment with God? Why or why not?


  6. ASK A FEW: Have you ever asked similar questions? If so, would a few of you be willing to share?


  7. ASK A FEW: Does God owe us answers in the tough times? Why or why not?


  8. (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.

  9. ASK SOMEONE: If you were in Job's situation, would you wonder where God was? Why or why not?


  10. (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:

      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.)

  11. ASK SOMEONE: How are Job’s statements similar to the lyrics of ‘You Found Me’?


  12. ASK SOMEONE: Do you think Job is totally innocent? Why or why not?

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


  14. (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:

      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.”

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


  16. 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?

Take some time for questions, then all together:
On the back of the paper the students 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 for students.


Close in Prayer

By Lane Palmer

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Comments on this post

   dan manns         7/13/2011 8:56:03 AM

i love the fact that my friends at the source can take a song that is as securlarly popular as this one and turn it into a meaningful message and genuine discussion that has the ability to impact our students. I like 'The Fray' for many reasons; their songs are lyrically thoughtful and touch the human emotion; they are musically talented - more than just a beat and synthesized vocalist; and finally because there are spiritual undertones to most of their songs. For these reasons and the fact that they are widely popular, their music is ripe for discussions with our teens!

   Darren         2/1/2011 10:00:35 AM

Like the parallel between Job and the songwriter. Will have to use this sometime..















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