It was October 11th, 1995. Unfamiliar with the song the worship leader selected, I was concentrating to read the notes accurately as I accompanied him on piano at church that evening. My heart was heavy, though, as I dreaded the anniversary that tomorrow would bring: the death by miscarriage of the baby we’d waited so long for, exactly 364 days before.
In the middle of verse two, I began to hear a brand new song — not the one I was playing — in my spirit. As a life-long songwriter, I’d grown familiar with those special moments when I sensed Heaven opening, and giving me a song to write. I could hear the new music clashing against the hymn I was trying to play. With an unspoken and slightly annoyed prayer, my heart lamented, “Lord, can’t You save this until a bit later?? I’m trying to read music right now!” The music didn’t stop.
I finally settled in my pew and quickly began writing down the words and a few music notes that were still playing in my head, before I forgot them.
I knew God was speaking, but I didn’t realize how truly wonderful and precise His timing — and His comfort — would prove to be, once again.
The chorus came first, as it often does when I write. It’s the main idea, the repeated part, “the hook” as we call it in songwriting. “(excerpt) I’m looking for good things, walking in His Spirit…. every good thing comes from the Father above.” (James 1:17) The opening line of verse one came straight from scripture, like a shaft of light piercing through the dark cloud smothering me: “No good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly before Him.” (Psalm 84:11) The bridge of the song reiterated Jeremiah 29:11: “God’s plan for our lives is for good and not evil, to give us a future and a hope.” Why was I hearing this new song, and specifically, why tonight?
The next day, with great intrepidation, I went to our local pregnancy center ministry for a free pregnancy test. I prepared myself for another negative result, as I’d been let down several times before, conducting home pregnancy tests. The kind nurse offered me a hug before sharing the results with me, so I tearfully received her embrace, certain of the bad news coming. She then asked, “What color of baby booties would you like, blue or pink?” We both laughed and cried and hugged all the more! I was expecting a baby! I was finally pregnant! It was a great day for the nurse, too, since 99% of the women coming into the center were unmarried and did not want to be pregnant. My visit there (married and happy to be pregnant) was refreshing, I suppose. Perhaps she needed a “happy ending” with some good news, too.
As I share this testimony, I am reminded of how many times God has used a “song of deliverance” to lift me out of a pit, to shine like a silver lining behind an ominous cloud of grief, doubt, disallusionment, disappointment, and even death. “Good Things” is one of those songs (yet to be recorded), but there are many others God has used as a lifeline when I felt I was drowning. Some I’ve been assigned to write, but many others written by others have ministered deeply to me at critical times.
Our loving Heavenly Father knows just what we need, and just when we need it — and always sends it at the precise time — so we know it’s God speaking. That’s His amazing grace; not just Jesus providing forgiveness of our sins by His sacrificial death on the cross (as if that weren’t enough), but loving us enough to be intimately involved in every minute detail of our lives. That kind of overwhelming love is life-changing. I only need to respond in faith to a love like that. I needed to hear that prophetic song that day, at that moment, interrupting my pain and disappointment, interjecting joy at that precise moment. His timing is always perfect!
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Challenge / Response:
Is there a song that has helped you during a critical or difficult time in your life? Has something on the radio, at church (or even running through your memory) arrived at just the right time? I want to hear about it! Leave a message in the comments below.