People often ask what the process is like for writing a song. I wish that I could tell them inspiration hits and voilà, you have a song. In my experience though, the initial inspiration hits, and then – the song sits there. It sits in my heart incubating, and I’m constantly mulling over it, willing it to grow into something bigger, hoping it finishes itself. But, songwriting requires good ol’ fashioned work. Now, I know this, but it’s another thing to put this into practice.
Writing How Great You Are was that kind of experience. I remember the main melody coming to me, basically all in one moment, while I was laid up sick in bed. I was pretty excited about it, and once I was able to get to a piano, the music kind of just flowed out. Looking back, somewhere inside, I thought the lyrics would just magically flow out as well. It was going to be this awesome song about how we are healed and made whole in the presence of God and how we find our rest in Him – except everything I wrote wasn’t quite working. There were too many ideas and it didn’t feel cohesive. I kept asking myself (in the context of writing the song), “How do I get to that theme of being in God’s presence? How is it that we get to be in His presence?”
Ding, ding, ding. This was going to be a song about how Jesus made a way for us to be in the presence of God. It was going to be a song about the Gospel.
It was around the time of receiving that epiphany that I showed the song to some friends, including James Mark. They confirmed that the song worked much better with the Gospel being central. Strange how that works, huh?
Now, I knew where the song was supposed to go, and together with James Mark, we finished it. It was not easy. We watched scenes from The Passion of the Christ and The Bible series. I read the crucifixion story multiple times a day, in different translations, in all four gospels. I was immersed in the story of how God came to earth as a man, willingly took upon Himself our transgressions even as we betrayed Him to hang on the cross, and then rose victorious over sin and death. As I read that story over and over and pictured myself standing with the multitudes crying, “Crucify Him” – I was undone by His love for me. I was undone and I wanted to scream, scream out my sorrow for placing Him there, and then shout out in thankfulness because it was His joy to do it.
This is the journey we want to take everyone on as we sing this song. We want to be able to meditate over what it cost Jesus for us to be able to be near to God. Once we recognize that, then we want to make space in our hearts for songs of thankfulness to rise up, for our souls to sing of our Savior’s love and how great He is.
Join us Friday, May 9th as AntiochLIVE records their next worship album. It will be an incredible night of worshiping Jesus together. The event is at First Baptist Church Waco and the cost is $5 per person at the door. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. and the recording begins at 7:30 p.m. We anticipate a full house, so seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Please note, while we welcome families to the event, we ask parents to use discernment in bringing their children. Since it is a live recording we must keep excess noise to a minimum and will limit entrance and exit from the auditorium once recording begins. Head here for more info and we can’t wait to see you there.