In March 2015 I was in Hong Kong to do a 12-day songwriting workshop with a dozen worship leaders there. One morning while I was there, I read Psalm 40 in my daily Bible reading. God spoke to me powerfully through that Psalm, which begins, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” I had been waiting a long time for a breakthrough. Finally, God was bringing it to me.
"He brought me up out of the mud and dirt...he gave me a new song to sing (Psalm 40:2,3)."
For me, "the mud and dirt" was a combination of things. I was feeling like I was going nowhere, I wasn't moving forward in ministry. There was a lull in my worship-leading ministry. I was leading worship in various churches, but I didn't have an overall plan or vision for what I should be doing.
Four months before this, God began "lifting me out of the mud." Within one week in November of 2014, heaven opened up and God initiated a whole new chapter in my life.
The first breakthrough was a physical healing. For 13 years I had suffered from a severe case of tendonitis in my hands and forearms. I was “trudging through the mud.” Playing the guitar for only 20 minutes was painful. Doing any household chore with my hands was painful. It was very discouraging. I played through the pain but it was hard to write songs and really enjoy worshiping.
Then God healed me! The Holy Spirit came on me powerfully as a few family members prayed for me in church. Since this healing, I can play guitar and work with my hands for hours. I am not 100% free of pain, but my life is radically different because of this healing.
The gushing of God's blessings continued with an outpouring of his presence, and an increase in hearing his voice. In two months I received dozens of powerful prophetic words from many people. Many people independently confirmed the same message: God was going to give me a fruitful season of creativity, songwriting, and imparting his kingdom and healing to many people.
Since that time, I have written over 50 songs (some of them still in process), and have recorded about ten, including “I Waited Patiently,” an adaptation of Psalm 40 that I began to write in Hong Kong. Like the Psalm says, God gave me a new song to sing.
In my next blog post I will share the climax of this story: God continued to bless me as I freely gave what God had given me. It’s in giving that we receive.