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It is as much true today as it was in the Old Testament: “God has set a time for the punishment of the exiles; when that set time is completed, He will return to them with His gracious promise. Judgment is not the last word God proclaims to the sinners. With His grace he reaches out to them to give them a hope and a future. This promise is, however, conditional. In order to enjoy the benefits of God's grace, sinners must call upon Him, and seek Him with all their heart.” (The preceding was from Asbury’s Bible commentary.)
According to God’s Word in Jeremiah 29:13, we need to search for God with all of our heart. Then, we will find Him when we seek Him will all of our heart. In our fast-paced society, how often are we dedicating our whole heart to God? Do we offer up half-hearted prayers or do we seek Him with all of our heart? As a father and husband, this song challenges me to think about how well I’m showing love for God, my family and people. We all matter to God.
God’s prophetic Word is a great companion to go with the message of Matt Hammitt’s autobiographical new song, “All Of Me.” His son, Bowen, just celebrated his first birthday on September 9, 2011. Bowen, which means "small victorious one," was born with a serious heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). You can read all about him at http://bowensheart.com/.
I had the great opportunity to interview Sanctus Real’s lead singer Matt Hammitt about his compelling new song “All Of Me” from his solo worship album Every Falling Tear.
Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.
Last summer, from April to September, my wife was pregnant with Bowen and we were just waiting to see what God was going to do with our son’s life and our lives. We knew since April that he had a heart defect and he’d most likely make it to full term, but once he was born they didn’t know what would happen. Some of the odds didn’t look good on paper. Obviously we don’t trust odds on paper, but we just spent time in prayer and trusted in God. It was an exercise in relying on God’s promise and faithfulness in the past to carry us through the future.
It was really close to the time before Bowen was born and I had written a lot of the words for the song “All of Me,” but I didn’t have music or the song completed. I went down to visit my friend Bernie Herms, who is one of the most prolific piano players that I know. He started writing the music with me and it was the pinnacle of this feeling for me of uncertainty that my son was about to be born and I was reserving some of my excitement and love for this boy because I was afraid of what would happen and I was afraid to get hurt. I was building walls around my heart to protect myself in case things didn’t go well.
What do you consider to be the takeaway message for listeners?
In those moments that I was hearing Bernie play that music and I was singing those words, “Afraid to love, Something that could break, Could I move on, If you were torn away”--which were the first words I wrote in my journal--I more and more realized that I had to give myself completely to this boy and to the Lord’s will. I knew I needed to fully trust God in what He was going to do in our son’s life and our lives. To be able to walk through that situation and give God all that I have--allow God to do His will and to learn to love and to trust in Him completely.
In terms of a passage about giving our entire hearts to God, David is described as a man after God’s own heart. In spite of our weaknesses and our flaws, God still wants our whole hearts. The end of this song confesses that “Heaven brought you to this moment.” Even though this seemed like a terrible situation, God uses these moments to reveal His glory. He wants to use the darkness of human circumstances to redeem us with His light. He wants to use those moments in our lives to work through us and reveal Himself. God knit Bowen together in my wife’s womb. He brought us to this place so that we could understand redemption and His grace. A picture of someone who is broken being brought to wholeness. That is the innate yearning that we all have for our future home. Love God with all our hearts while we’re being crafted into the redeemed. Only by His Spirit does He give us the ability to love Him back.
Thanks to NewReleaseTuesday for the story behind this beautiful song.
Please be sure to check out Matt Hammitt's website for his son http://bowensheart.com/.
And it you enjoyed this song, you'll be sure to enjoy the rest of his cd Every falling tear