When We Know The Story
In this second instalment of the "music speaks" series, I'm going to share some stories behind songs that I've learned over the years that have touched my heart and given me a deeper appreciation of the music. If you know a story, feel free to share it in the comments or post an entry on your own blog about it!
Come, Now Is The Time Worship
A well known worship leader and his investors lose more than one million dollars in a failed ministry project. The worship leader loses his home and in an attempt to regroup, moves his family to England. Once there and already depressed from the failures experienced in Canada, he and his wife find out that three of their six children have a condition called "Fragile X Syndrome", which is a form of mental retardation.
With overwhelming circumstances surrounding his life, Brian Doerkson went on a walk to pour out his heart to God. While most of us would use this as an opportunity to vent, question, and search, that wasn't that case for Brian. Over and over he kept being reminded "come now is the time to worship." Minutes later he was back at home and in minutes the song "Come ,Now Is The Time To Worship" was born.
About the song Brian says; "I believe God wants us to come and worship just the way we are, though when true worship happens we don't stay the way we are."
Days of Elijah
Singing it with our little actions at church you wouldn't assume it, but I doubt the writer had a funny grin on his face when the song was first being formed. Why? Because the idea for the song was sparked when Robin Mark was watching 1994's year of review and more specifically the segment about what occurred in Rwanda that year.
After watching the short documentary type show, the writer "found myself despairing about the state of the world and, in prayer, began asking God if He was really in control and what sort of days were we living in. I felt in my spirit that He replied to my prayer by saying that indeed He was very much in control and that the days we were living in were special times when He would require Christians to be filled with integrity and to stand up for Him just like Elijah did, particularly with the prophets of Baal."
And thus the song came to be. Something to think about the next time you hear it in church or on the radio.
Where The Streets Have No Name
The inspiration for this U2 classic comes from a story that Bono heard about Belfast. In Belfast you can tell what someone's religion is and how much money they make based on what street they live on. And the further you go up the street, the more expensive the houses are, and thus, the more money the people living there have. So if someone says what street they live on, that not only tells you what kind of background they have, but you can pinpoint their income based on where on the street they live.
That stuck with Bono and he started to write a song about a place where the streets have no name.
Here is Our King
I would have never guessed where the inspiration for this song came from, but now knowing the story it does it make sense.
"Here Is Our King" was sparked as David Crowder spent two days with his eyes glued to his television set watching the deadly aftermath of the tsunami that struck on Boxing Day 2004. Watching the devastation reminded David of the depth of our fall:
"We know things aren't right, we know that things aren't as they were intended. But here is this thing that comes from the middle of the sea to bring upon us devastation and to take from us our fathers and our mothers and to pull from our hands our children and our friends and our minds cannot fit this in. It is the depth of our fall upon us. Even the ground under our feet is not right. The air we breathe is not right."
But even in the midst of the depth of our fall, we have a glimpse of what is to come:
"Here though, the hope I found in Christ miraculously expands. I believe we are part of a bigger story unfolding. I believe that the rescue of creation has been coming toward us for a long time.... He is coming to set things right. He is coming to set things straight. He is coming and this is tremendously hard to take in, but our hearts swell and this tide of hope groups and father all of this, after this brokenness, after these tears, after this fury, after this tearing that is life...finally, finally. Majesty. Here."
Something to think about the next time you sing:
The ocean is growing
The tide is coming in
Here it is.
Here is our king, here is our love
Here is our God who's come
To bring us back to Him
He is the One, He is Jesus.
Watch for the next post in this series "How The Songs Changed The Writers" coming soon!