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Third Day: Offering Hope 4 a Way Out

Tony Peterson

On his first day of eighth grade, Tai Anderson found himself stuck in a school garbage can. “I can’t talk about it now without laughing,” says Anderson, Third Day’s bass player. “I’m older now, I’m a big guy, and I’ve been successful. I can laugh now, but I wasn’t laughing at the time.”

Tai was the victim of a tradition at his school that allowed seniors to literally trash incoming eighth graders. He remembers the humiliation. “You know there are two responses to that. The normal psychological response is to say, I can’t wait till I’m a senior, so I can do this to someone. The better response is to say, I’m gonna break the cycle. I’m not going to do this to anyone; and I’ll make sure nobody has to go through this again.

devozine Third-Day-Main-Press-Shot2Tai never had to decide about his high school tradition. By the time he was a senior, he had changed schools and was already playing in Third Day, the Christian rock band that would take him all over the world.

Although his experience was part of an established school tradition, Tai’s humiliation was no less than that of teens who are bullied and teased and who sometimes develop deeper feelings of worthlessness and depression.

Tai remembered his first day of eighth grade when he heard the stories that prompted Third Day’s new song, “I Need a Miracle.” The song reminds us that many people feel anxiety, humiliation, depression, and worthlessness; but it also points to the hope available to us.

At the center of the song is a story the band members heard last year. A couple came up after a concert and told them about their son who had struggled with depression. The son had lost a job and was living with turmoil at home. He thought about ending his life. “And it was more than just a thought. He drove his car out into the woods,” Tai says. “He was in his car waiting to die, and in that moment he reached over and hit power on the radio.” The song that came on was Third Day’s “Cry Out to Jesus.” The young man listened to the song, he cried out to Jesus, he found just enough hope, and he chose to live. His parents told the band members that their son would have loved to be at that concert, but he was overseas on a mission trip.

devozine thirdday_miracle_cvr-hiHumbled by the story, the Third Day guys gained a renewed sense of the potential power of their music. The songs on their 12th studio album, Miracle, reflect the impact of this story, not only in the lyrics but also in the music. Listeners will encounter new sonic splashes: layered guitars and harmonies and sing-along gang vocals. The signature rock foundations remain, but they have been infused with a new flair.

The members of Third Day love to rock out and entertain; but more important, they want to offer hope and encouragement. “We have this unique opportunity once again to speak into people’s lives,” says drummer David Carr. “We’re not here to give you all the answers. We’re here to say ‘Just hang on a little longer.’”

 

DIG DEEPER

Read John 10:10. What does the thief want to steal from you? Have you cried out to Jesus? If so, what happened? How do you experience life to the fullest?

Read John 16:33. What tribulation or trouble have you experienced? What would overcoming tribulation be like?

 

Be sure to listen to “I Need a Miracle,” the song inspired by the story above; or enjoy the entire album.


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CD Cover and Press Photo by Lee Steffen

Tony Peterson is a writer, editor, educator, and music lover in Nashville, Tennessee.

—from devozine (July/August 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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