I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.Psalm 40:1-3
Four years ago a transformation occurred in my heart and mind. A new Spirit was within me. As David writes “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock…” I can see that very imagery apply to this transformation that happened to me. I was set upon a rock, a rock so solid it cannot be broken, the cornerstone who is Christ Jesus.
Previous to the summer of 2015, I walked aimlessly through life for 27 years. There was no direction, and life was a roller coaster of ups and downs. Besides the drugs and alcohol, I relied on music to comfort me. My choice of artists were bent towards melancholy. Lyrics were filled with self-loathing themes, stories of hopeless love and pessimistic worldviews.
The place I was at and felt trapped was indeed a ‘horrible pit’ where the worst pain was inside. Crushing anxiety and depression weighed me down. Looking for anyone or anything to sooth the pain I turned to music. I frequented concerts and gravitated towards audiophiles, people who had unique taste in the obscure. My palate ranged slightly but was mostly concentrated in indie folk. Bands like The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Bowerbirds, Elephant Revival, The Dodos were some of the top choices for me. I did listen also to indie pop like The Shins, Deathcab for Cutie, among others.
In 2014 my at the time girlfriend and I moved to Cleveland, the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The underlying reason for the move was mostly so we could go to more shows. This lasted less than a year. As my life went downhill, we broke up and I had no choice but to move back to the town I went to high school.
Spiraling downward, after what I thought was the best part of my life crumbled, I was at rock bottom. Music didn’t help, the alcohol didn’t help, the drugs didn’t help, and I felt like I was at square one. With no where else to turn, I looked to the Lord, and “He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. “
Early on in my walk with Christ I decided I could not listen to the music from the past. Music can so easily draw up emotions, and those emotions I wanted to leave behind me. I prayed for the Lord to send me music that was interesting and creative, unique and aesthetic. In the mean time I borrowed CD’s from my mom’s collection which included Michael W. Smith, Building 429, Newsboys and other more popular bands. One CD in particular that helped me deal with the lingering feelings from the past was Jason Gray’s A Way to See in the Dark.
It’s okay / This is just the end / Don’t be afraid / This is where it begins‘End of Me’ – Jason Gray
Everything here had to fall apart / But in the ruins of a broken heart
I found peace like a river to attend my soul /And hope running over when I let go
I found joy that was hidden for all these years / And love overflowing to wash over everything
I found it here at the end of me
This was the start of really finding a new song. “And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” The Lord provided a band to me from Manchester, England called Rivers & Robots. They have since been my favorite band, and I have been able to see them live twice now.
I now have a new purpose for music, a new song. That He’d be praised and glorified, and that “many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. “
The Lord’s purpose for His work is restoration and redemption, so let us praise Him as a testimony to the world.