Yesterday I started a series of posts where I’m looking back at songs that were recorded by One Voice Acappella, a group that I was in about 10 years ago.
Today’s song, song number 2 on the CD, is called It’s All From You. One of the guys in the group, Keith Nunn, wrote it and sung the solo on it. I asked him to try to remember the inspiration that led to the lyrics and ultimately the song.
It’s been over a decade since I wrote some of the songs on Instrument of Praise. I’m not yet old enough to be able to blame old age but some memories are just lost. I can’t recall the exact instance that sparked the need to sit down and put my thoughts in music at that very moment, but I do remember why I wrote it.
Financially, life was rough for the Nunn family as we grew up. Despite having a mom who worked two full-time jobs at times (and still somehow found the energy to show you how much she loves you), when you lose your dad early in life and when he rarely worked even when he was alive it makes money a scarce resource. As you grow up you see the kids walking around with name-brand clothing while you’re on your third pair of Kmart shoes that year and wearing through the hand-me-down shirt you got last summer. They shop at Macy’s while you’re browsing the aisles of Wal-mart. It’s far too easy to fall into a covetous mindset.
As I got older and began working I had this mentality that I could now buy myself all the things that we never had as kids. Not specifically a pair of British Knights shoes or a Starter sports jacket but just nicer things in general. My goal with working was to acquire that which I coveted in my childhood: nicer things. If God couldn’t give us this stuff then I would work and get it for myself.
I was fortunate that God didn’t allow me to hold on to my poor line of reasoning for very long. As my relationship with God grew I began to see how very wrong I was. We never had the name-brand items and yet we made it to adulthood intact, happy and healthy. We didn’t lack for necessities and, through our mom, we never lacked for love. I saw that we didn’t have those things, not because God couldn’t provide them, but because we didn’t need them.
All that which I had worked and bought for myself wasn’t a self-served blessing. It wasn’t through my own effort alone that I had anything. He blessed me with the ability to work and He provided for us as we grew up. If it weren’t for God we would have nothing. All that which I had worked for and bought was still from Him and, though I still had things I would want, I realized that I didn’t need them. I understood that God has always provided our needs and that our financial situation had served to show us just how much He had been there for us. It wasn’t that we would have had more if God would have given it, it was that all we had was because of Him.
So the idea of “It’s All From You” was to remind us all (including myself) that He provides and that all that we have in this life that is good is because of His blessings upon us. It’s a reminder to thank Him for what we have and not lament for what we think we lack. It would be a great shame to ever forget how much He loves us and how very much He has given us.
On the album, we listed the verses which either led to us writing the songs or best reflected our thoughts and it feels appropriate to put them here.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”