The story behind “I Will Wait”

Is it ironic that a song called “I Will Wait” took a lot longer than expected to finally be ready for release? Perhaps. 🙂 The reality is that everything about this song has included waiting.

God first permitted me to hear the first bits of it way back in 2011. Twelve and a half years ago. Whatever the start was, it was unremarkable enough that I never even mentioned it in my journals. Instead, the earliest mention I can find is October of that year, when I wrote this:

This morning I woke up with “I Will Wait” going through me, and I’m not sure why. Maybe God is simply calling me to come wait on Him some more. (Though He’s always doing that, so that wouldn’t be unusual.) But I sat down at the piano hoping maybe I’d get the end to each verse and chorus…but nope. Nothing came. I really can’t write songs. All I can do is what He gave me…the gift of hearing His music and letting my fingers find it.

Then seven years went by. Every so often I return to my book of music scribblings to play the bits that I’ve heard now and again and see if I can do anything with any of them, so I assume that I did that at least a few times over the years.

Then in May of 2018, I wrote this in my journal:

I found my scrawlings for “I Will Wait”… and God gave me the rest of it. So now it’s complete.

We’ve sung it a church now and again in the five years since, and when God provided the opportunity to record the songs He’s given me, I knew that this should be the second one to record. I did the first recording session in January and thought it would be done by the end of February. Instead I got to practice waiting an extra six weeks. 🙂 How fitting.

But this song is about so much more than just being patient.

Waiting on God does indeed mean that we wait on His timing for all the circumstances of our lives, but it’s more about pursuing Him. It’s an active kind of waiting that involves laying down the things we’re holding onto and surrendering the priorities that are pretending they’re more important than Him. It’s about spending time just being with Him, so that He can gently and carefully expand our comprehension to the wonders of all that He is. That takes time, because our natural mind cannot quickly and easily grasp that unlimited, eternal, and indescribably reality of who He really is.

He is patient with us. He knows our human limitations. He’s more than happy to take as much time as He needs to gently stretch and expand our understanding of Him. He refuses to be rushed.

His presence is a place of waiting. It’s a place of rest. Comfort. It’s where He gently chips away at our misconceptions and washes away our guilt and shame, and He shows us how He sees us. And that’s why, when we set aside the time to go sit with Him in the stillness, we take nothing to offer Him… except ourselves. The self that is nothing without Him and yet is priceless to Him.

We have to lay everything else down to find His heart, and that’s usually easier said that done. Our pride urges us to hold tightly to the things that we think have value or make us who we are. They’re so hard to let go, that often we aren’t even aware of what we’re holding onto. But that’s okay, because He is an expert at gently rubbing away at the messed up things we’re still holding onto, until they break away and are washed into the sea of forgetfulness.

And in those moments when we watch what we were holding onto wash away, we can be left feeling like we’re nothing but shattered pieces of who we used to be. But He takes those pieces, and He reshapes us into a masterpiece. He shows us who He created us to be–the person we would have known if our own sin and the sin of others hadn’t marked us so painfully our entire life long. Except that glorious person still exists! This is part of His reality, and He so desperately wants to reveal it to us so that it can become our reality also!

He’s calling you in gentle whispers to come. Let Him welcome you into His embrace. Let Him wash you in His healing. Let Him restore you. He will do it all, and you will simply be. In rest. In peace. In Him. A masterpiece, redeemed by the One who gave His life for you.

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