Have you ever wondered what the Lord will say to you when you’ve reached the end of your life and you’ve finally made it home?
You’ve run the race you were supposed to, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24–27, but what will God say to you at the end of your life? Every hardship you endured, every struggle you overcame, every time you had faith amid doubt … what will it all amount to when it’s time to go home?
After trying to live your life like the “good and faithful servant” in Matthew 25:23, are you excited to see all the Lord has in store for you in the promised land?
Maybe you’re less concerned about what He will say to you and more about what He said to your loved ones who have already gone home.
Maybe you imagine Jesus warmly greeting your mom who lost her battle to cancer. Or maybe you picture your cousin who passed away in a car accident finally asking Jesus his burning questions about the Bible.
When The Afters’ members Josh Havens and Matt Fuqua think about arriving in heaven, two words come to mind: well done. On a recent episode of I Love That Song! with Keith Stevens, they discuss their band’s hit song “Well Done” and the character of a believer who remains faithful until the end.
Josh and Matt have known each other since middle school, where they sang together in the choir. As they got older, they never grew out of their love of singing. When they got jobs together working at a local Starbucks in Mesquite, Texas, they still found a way to express themselves through music by serenading their customers with acoustic guitars.
Josh believes their time at Starbucks kickstarted their careers: “People started asking us where they could hear more music, and so we booked a show. I think at our first show we had about 300 or more people, and most of them were customers from that Starbucks… And we’ve been making music ever since.”
As they continued to book shows, they connected with MercyMe, another contemporary Christian band, who would help them get a record deal and invite them on tour.
When reflecting on this time in their lives, Josh said, “God just kind of parted the waters, and we walked through on dry ground.” He continued, “Every day I wake up and I get to do this, I just feel like the luckiest person.”
Together, they have grown from their humble beginnings both as artists and as believers. The Afters continued to find success and have now been a band for about 20 years.
Josh said their song “Well Done” “felt like it wrote itself.” He continued: “Sometimes you have those moments where you’re writing a song, and then when it’s all finished, you think, ‘How’d this happen?’ You can just feel the Holy Spirit breathing through a situation.”
But not everything in their lives has been as easy or fun as making up entertaining songs in their local Starbucks. The Afters have also faced challenges and hardships in their lives.
Their lead singer, Josh, who lost his dad to cancer when he was younger, struggled with the idea of his father being sent home to Christ so soon. Josh explained:
Josh is eternally grateful for the impact of his dad, who was the main inspiration for the song. He believes his father shaped him into the man he is today and demonstrated how to live a godly life in service to the Lord.
And Josh channeled that pain, confusion, and devastation he felt after the loss of his dad into the chorus of “Well Done.” However, something just wasn’t clicking for Josh when it came to the verses of the song, as he described in his conversation with Keith Stevens. He said he felt stuck and couldn’t find the words to say what was on his heart.
Sometimes in life, God sends you just what you need when you least expect it. This was the case for Josh, who still found himself stuck after weeks of working on the song.
A powerful idea came to Josh after hearing about legendary preacher, Billy Graham’s death and reaching out to Billy’s grandson and Josh’s good friend, Will Graham. When hearing about the great peace Will’s family was experiencing following Billy’s passing, Josh was confronted with the fact that the end of a Christian’s life should be a celebration of a job well done.
As Will told him, his grandfather didn’t want them to mourn his loss. Rather, Billy himself had told them, “Someday, you’re going to hear that Billy Graham is dead, but don’t believe it because I’m more alive than ever.”
Josh was blown away by this response. He said, “I thought, ‘Man, what a perspective to have!’ That, someday, we’re going to be in a place where we belong, more than we’ve ever belonged before.”
Billy, who impacted millions of people from all walks of life by preaching the gospel, is an inspiration to Josh. Josh wants his band to do the same with their music, knowing the Lord will one day reward them for their time here on earth.
As the Bible says in Matthew 25:23 (NIV): “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
“Well Done” is an inspiring and somber song that invites you to remember those you have lost and your own eventual return home to be with God. With this song, Josh not only hopes to provide comfort to those who are mourning, but he also wants it to be a “reminder” that our time on earth is short.
But you can look forward to the never-ending joy and peace in the promise of a home in heaven:
One day, the Lord will call you home, and you can put your hope in that future. Until then, you can only live your life to serve Him and hope that one day you will hear these words:
To hear more about Josh and Matt’s stories and their inspiration for “Well Done,” look for this episode of the I Love That Song! podcast with Keith Stevens.