Behind the Song: Refuge

Over the next two months we will be sharing stories behind the songs from our first albums “Lifted High” and “O Great Love: The Acoustic Sessions.” With new music coming in 2015 we thought it would be fun to go back and talk about what inspires the songs we write.

In my season as the Director of Student Ministries one of the most meaningful times was taking students into the city of Worcester, MA to feed the homeless. The 15-minute ride from suburban wealth to urban poverty was eye opening. I will never forget the first time that our crew of students, decked out in “Uggs” and “Northface” experienced the harsh reality of poverty only miles from their homes.

Like most encounters on mission for Jesus it is difficult to discern if the greater impact is on those serving or those being served.

Over time I learned in this ministry of contrasts that hurt and longing for purpose run far deeper than per-capita income. I walked with students through the devastation of  families falling apart. I listened as they shared the crushing pressure to achieve and get into the right school. I witnessed the addictions of status and entertainment run wild.

Pain is universal. Need is everywhere.

The weary, the stressed out, achievers and the proud
Lay your burdens down
Let us leave behind these temporary things
Pressing onward to the great and lasting prize.

Paul wrote “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Philippians 3:7

“Refuge” is an invitation from the captivity of finding our identity in our burdens or success towards embracing the provision of God’s amazing grace. To both the “outcast” and the “achiever” God is calling “come and find your home.”

Refuge for the weary heart, Shelter in the hardest storm
Tower that we run to, You are God
Giver of the air we breathe, Light that shines upon our feet
Mighty, mighty fortress, You are God

David, the shepherd boy who became the greatest king of Israel said it this way:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2

That is the heart behind the song “Refuge.”