Behind the Song: “An Unexpected Cross”

“An Unexpected Cross” (not to be confused with “The Unexpected Cross,” by Jeff and Sheri Easter) comes from Ernie Haase’s solo project Never Alone. It was cowritten by Ernie and Joel Lindsey, and it’s my favorite song from his solo career. I asked him if he would like to share some of the inspiration behind it, and he graciously did. Enjoy this little look behind the song! 

I came to Joel with the hook (around 1998 it seems).  I read him the story of Simon who “stood among the crowd who lined the road to Calvary.”  After reading it to Joel I said, “I can’t imagine Simon waking up that morning thinking he would be carrying a cross. It was an ‘unexpected cross.'”

I then went on to say if we could tell that story (of Simon) and then bring it to the present tense and allow people to see their own story in the song we might have something.

We all expect or at least hope for good things when we wake up each day.  Sometimes though, we encounter an “unexpected cross” in our life.  Things we do not plan nor would we desire.  But, God can do something eternal and far greater than we ever imagine with our hurts, losses, disappointments, rejections and fears.  Just like He did with the Cross of Christ, He changed history through His suffering.  God can take our pain and change our world, and those we interact with, when we trust His sovereign hand.

But, as the bridge and last chorus states, ONE DAY there will be answers and a reason for it all.

Bridge and Chorus

On that final day
When every tear has been dried
We will see and understand
All the reason WHY.
Sometimes we have to bear an unexpected cross
That leads us to a mountain of sorrow
Though the pain may be great
And the price the price so high a cost
There’s always a reason
For the unexpected cross

Click here to listen.

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