Even though the marketers have been trying their darndest to co-opt this truth, I still believe stories will change the world.

I had the privilege recently of hearing some close friends share their stories of how God’s love has been real to them over the years. Our redeeming King is able to bring beauty from the burned out wreckage of our lives — and I see it in the faces and hearts of my friends.

Around that table, I shared how music has always been a part of my redemption story. Even when I hated “hypocritical” Christians and felt completely unmoored, His whisper was the dulcet melody calling clear through the noise.

There was a King who was more precious than silver, whose love was wider than oceans. When I finally began to understand the power of the cross — that Jesus understood our sorrow, pain, shame; that He never gave up on me; that real love is sacrifice; that Someone so amazing would die for us — the song Only the Blood was the soundtrack.

Only the blood of Jesus covers all of my sins
Only the life of Jesus renews me from within

I am thankful for the countless, talented, godly women & men around the world who are writing the songs the Church is singing. Yes, Christian music is an industry worthy of scrutiny (and, sometimes, heavy-duty eye-rolling). Yes, there is more to music that glorifies God than being “safe for the family.” And, yes, there are more ways to make God’s praises soar than with heavy reverb and delay-soaked guitars (banjos, for one!).

But, friends, no matter how jaded we become, let us hold fast to the One who was, and is, and is to come, before whom people from every tribe, nation, and language will bow down in worship, and let us sing!

Our God is infinite, yet intimate; mighty and merciful; creative and compassionate. Were all the skies of parchment made and all the oceans filled with ink, as the old gospel song sings, we would still only begin to describe how great is our God.

I need words as wide as sky
I need language large as this longing inside
And I need a voice bigger than mine
And I need a song to sing You that I’ve yet to find
I need You, oh, I need You
                                                             – David Crowder

Sometimes, it takes years to see the thread God has tied together, but wherever He is King there is beauty and soul and life:

Time and again, the words of the psalmist have been proven true:

You did it: You turned my deepest pains into joyful dancing;
You stripped off my dark clothing and covered me with joyful light.
You have restored my honor.
My heart is ready to explode, erupt in new songs!

It’s impossible to keep quiet!
Eternal One, my God, my Life-Giver, I will thank You forever.