Sometimes I hear a song and know there must be a real story behind the lyrics. The radio was on a favorite Christian station when I heard the song “Even If” by the band MercyMe. The lyrics are powerful and from the heart. In fact, this is a song for every Christian at some point in their lives.
We know God is real and powerful. We have experienced his presence and blessing in our lives. But all of us have moments in our lives when our faith flickers in the wind. The lead singer in MercyMe is Bart Millard. The band members are among the most successful in Christian music and have experienced great success in their ministry. But that success is just one experience of their lives. These musicians are people with real lives and all the challenges each of us face.
Bart Millard’s teenage son was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of two, and the disease has been a constant part of their family. In the video about “Even If,” Bart described writing the lyrics during a time of discouragement over his son’s challenges. He mentioned the inspiration for the song came from the Scripture about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
King Nebuchadnezzar was the Babylonian ruler at the time Daniel and his friends were taken captive from Israel. A statue was erected of Nebuchadnezzar and the people were told to bow down and worship the statue. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to betray their faith and were condemned to die in a fiery furnace. The king gave the three men a chance to explain their choice and asked them about the “god” who was more powerful than himself. The men responded to Nebuchadnezzar saying,
“If our God whom we are serving exists, he is able to rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he will rescue us, O king, from your power as well. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we don’t serve your gods, and we will not pay homage to the golden statue that you have erected” (Daniel 3:17–18).
Bart Millard said those words, “But if not” or “even if,” led him to write the song. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that God was powerful enough to save them from the furnace, but they also knew that God might not choose to give them that miracle. They told the king that even if they had to die, they would still remain faithful. Sometimes we pay more attention to the miracle of that story than the faith displayed by the men involved.
God doesn’t often perform the miracles we ask for. Most of the time God honors the faith we maintain during our trials. As the song says, “even if the mountains don’t move” we can trust that God is able to move them.
We all have moments when our faith flickers and it seems that it might not survive in the wind. Sometimes our light shines brighter than at other times. But God is never changing. He is still the God that preserved the lives of those three men in the fiery furnace. He is also still the God who inspires Bart Millard to sing and write music like “Even If” when the prayers for his son’s healing are not answered the way he wants.
Is the light of your witness shining brightly or are you in a period where the flame is flickering in the wind? It is good to remember the greatness of God in every season of life. He is always enough for the day. And tomorrow He will, once again, be sufficient for all that we need.
Enjoy the song and allow the truth of the lyrics to lift your spirits and remind you of the greatness of God and his ability to bring us through the joys and the trials of this life. Eternity is one day closer every morning. Please God, help us remember that is the best thing about every day. Have a great one!
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