The God Who Won't (Psalm 107)

Story time! What I know from being a mother of three is those last few months of pregnancy leading up to their delivery are full of feelings—anxiety, anticipation, dread, joy and sorrow all intermingled together. There is great pain that comes in the waiting knowing that joy is coming. I found myself having similar feelings between recording The Story in November 2021 and releasing it in March 2022 because I, Grace, hadn't written a single song in that timeframe (and not for lack of trying)! I would sit down at the piano with a blank notebook staring back at me, and no melodies in my head. I was so disheartened. I was fearful that I wouldn’t write again… that The Story project was a singular gift, not to be repeated.


March 2022 came, and we were able to share The Story with the world. The relief that came with our release concert was like the exuberance that came with childbirth. We carried this child for months and they finally made their entrance into the world. The music could now go places that I couldn’t carry it with it stuck in my head—much like the joy I see in my kids as they grow and experience the world in new and exciting ways.


What also surprised me was that once the pressure of the concert was gone, my heart was ready to write again! I wasn’t anticipating that response. This came potently clear when Peter and I were approached by a now dear, long-distance friend, Rachel Wilhelm, about collaborating on a project. Cardiphonia Music exists to “crowd source liturgical arts for the joy and edification of the church.” We were invited to be songwriters offering our gifts to this project. It was a joy and an honor to be asked.


This next album would focus on Psalms 107-112. There was going to be a quick turnaround, and so if we were going to join this project, we would have to work quickly. After months of not writing or feeling inspired at all, this seemed like an intimidating prospect. We agreed to look, and if something came, bonus! If not, we weren’t expecting that of ourselves. We tried to operate without pressure to perform if nothing came.


I started at the beginning of the list of potential Psalms and was immediately drawn into the story behind Psalm 107. I noticed that the psalmist was drawing parallels through four different vignettes by using phrases and words. The psalmist starts verses 4, 10, 17, and 23 with the word “some” and each stanza tells a story of a person wandering away from God in some way. Some wandering in the wastelands of world without community, some sitting in the shadow of death in prison, some caught up in their foolishness, and some running away from God on the seas. In each vignette, the story turns with this repeated phrase, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress” (verses 6, 13, 19, and 28). God was faithful in each instance to be nearby. Once the person being described called out to God in their trouble, He was quick to deliver them. What a beautiful image this gives us, and I was captivated by this image of the God who is behind me even when I’m running away from Him.


Maybe I’m running away from community and vulnerability.

Maybe I’m bogged down by the weight of my chains—shame, expectations, sin, grief, depression… you name it, there’s a lot we can be imprisoned by.

Maybe I’m caught up in a web of my own foolishness.

Maybe I’m driven by my greed and running toward something I think will be more lucrative than the life He’s given me.


But in each instance, when whatever I’m running toward comes up empty, dry, and lacking, I find that God is on my heels. As soon as I humble myself and cry out to Him, He is right there to pick up my pieces because He never leaves any of us behind. What a phenomenal God. As Peter and I marinated in these truths and images, a song soon emerged. After months of not writing, it was such a joy to have a melody and words flowing from my heart again.


We were driving on the way to dinner one night and sung through a potential pre-chorus. We spent a week or so talking through the song’s structure and nailing down the images we wanted to convey.


We worked with Zach Pietrini as our remote producer. It was a joy to collaborate with him, and you can find his body of work here. The Cardiphonia project Psalms Book 5 Comp will be released tomorrow(!!!), and all the proceeds from this album's sales on bandcamp will go directly toward supporting Safe Place Ministries, which exists to provide education/services to people who have been affected by abuse and/or assault.

Along with this, this song will drop on all of our poems of grace music channels, including Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, and more, so keep an eye out for "The God Who Won't" on all our music channels, too!


The God Who Won't


Verse 1

A rebel in chains, I labor in vain

Darkness descends, night closes in

Rejected by friends, oh, when will this end?

Prechorus

Some wander, some sit, some fools don't quit

Some sail away into the storms of this life

All to leave the God who won't leave me behind


Chorus

I see Your love in the crashing waves

You quench my thirst in the desert place

You send Your word to heal my disgrace

You are the God who won’t leave me behind


Verse 2

Broken, ashamed, mocking Your name

I've done it once more, adrift from the shore

Dead in the water, I call through the roar


Prechorus


Chorus


Bridge/Ending

So I’ll praise You from the east and I’ll praise You from the west

I’ll praise You in the morning and in my evening rest

‘Cause Your love is a well that will never run dry

You are the God who won’t leave me behind

You are the God who won’t leave me behind

You are the God who won’t leave me behind



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