It was about 8:30 a.m. when I woke up in my tour-bus bunk to a text from my mom: “Your dad had a heart attack last night.”

I immediately called her. She was standing next to him in the hospital, and I could sense it wasn’t going well. Dad’s body was being sustained, but he wasn’t waking up. I jumped in a car and headed to the airport to catch the first flight home. When I got to the hospital, Dad was on a breathing machine, but he looked good and we were hopeful.

During the next 24 hours doctors ran a slew of tests and ultimately determined that overnight hemorrhaging in his brain had caused too much damage. The final moment came when the doctor stepped in and told us that Dad had died.

Mom started to yell at the doctor, beat on his chest, and got weak in her knees. I wrapped her up as she uncontrollably wailed her complaints to God.

Then the strangest thing happened.

I started to hear a song. I hadn’t ever heard it and Mom had never sang it before; but right in my ear, as I held her tight, in minor notes of groaning she began to cry: “He gives! He takes! Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21).

My sweet Mama didn’t grow up knowing Jesus. She wasn’t familiar with Matt Redman (“He Gives and Takes Away”) or Christian culture in general, but that was her tune when death entered the room. The funny thing is that she doesn’t even remember it. It was like a river of living water flowing out of her (John 7:38). Mercy just when she needed it. It was as if, perhaps, the Spirit was helping her in her weakness because she didn’t know what to pray, but the Spirit himself was interceding for her with groans too deep for words (Rom. 8:26).

The hardest day of our lives, and yet the peace of God and the praise of God filled that room (Phil. 4:6–7). He is faithful! Everything you need, you will have when you need it! It reminds me of a page from Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. She writes:

“Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam—when do I give you your ticket?

I sniffed a few times, considering this.

“Why, just before we get on the train.”

“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need—just in time.”

In your darkest moment, there is a song. It may not be pretty, and the first verse will surely sound like a complaint, but it will be there. Jesus will be there.

When fear’s so overwhelming
I can feel it in my skin
And the bitterness of losing faith
Like poison on my lips
When life feels like a never-ending
weight upon my soul
Oh, I need You, oh Lord

Your steadfast love never ceases
Your goodness,
calling me to rest
Your mercy just when I need it
How great is Your faithfulness
The weight of every sin
Is closing in on human bones
As the Son of God was dreaming about
What tomorrow holds
The night so overwhelming
Blood and water start to flow
Not my will, oh, but Yours

I’ll sing the song
Of the wounded One
Not my will,
Father, Yours be done
In Your mercy
You have wounded me
And by Your wounds,
Jesus, I am healed

Your steadfast love never ceases
Your goodness, God
calling me to rest
Your mercy just when I need it
How great is Your faithfulness.

Listen to “Steadfast Love.”