Song Story of "Shadow" and the Truths Found in Psalm 91
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord. ‘My Refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”
We all know those scenes in movies, the one where something scary, dangerous, or dark is ABOUT to happen—the house feels too empty or a car is headed down a road that seems too dark. The music intensifies and we can just tell that in the next scene something bad is imminent.
About two years ago, I woke up one morning with an intense feeling of fear—that feeling that can come in watching a movie scene like this. Unexpected anxiety and fearful feelings were rising up in my stomach. Yet this didn’t end in 90 minutes with a line of credits. Thoughts of danger, calamity, and failure seemed to come at me with no real reason. And yet it was real to me. I was feeling it—the weight of irrational fear.
The Oxford English Dictionary describes fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous”. Fear comes from a belief—a belief that danger is lurking and that failure is close. For me, as I wrestled with these dark thoughts, I realized that there were parts of my heart giving into the lie that danger, calamity, and pain were just around the corner. And by the experiences we see, hear, live through or read about in this world, there is danger. There is sadness and loss. There is pain.
Yet we aren’t meant to live in a state of fear. God did not intend that for us. This fear I was experiencing stemmed, at least somewhat, from an irrational belief. In the days that followed, I found God challenging me to combat those fearful beliefs with the truth of scripture—truth found in Psalm 91. As I placed my belief in the reality I can live in—dwelling in the shelter of the Most High (vs1), covered by his wings (vs4)—the belief that caused this irrational fear diminished under the belief of who God is and where my position was in Him. The cause of this fear, an irrational belief in imminent and unavoidable danger, buckled under the truth that I am fully covered and guarded by the God of creation.
As a musician and a songwriter, I’ve found it so helpful to process the truths of God’s word and what He is speaking to my heart through song. Oftentimes, I’ll try to find a worship song that is relevant to my situation and listen to it non-stop, while singing the truth it holds over my life. In the process of realizing what it meant to dwell in His shelter, I felt the need to sing these truths over my heart and mind. That’s where the song “Shadow” really began to take shape.
There’s intentional activeness to this song. “I know that I’m walking”. There are times where we need to remind our souls of our position in Christ. I have to say to myself often, “Hey you-Joey! You are walking and living fully covered by God!” That’s what the chorus of “Shadow” is—a declaration of my spiritual reality and standing with God. Though there may be chaos around me, though “ten thousand may fall at my right hand” (Psalm 91: 7), the promise we find in scripture is that we are protected and covered. David also writes in verse 10, “For He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.” We are guarded! “Safe within Your shadow over me.”
As belief in these truths began to resound in my heart, there was less and less room for irrational beliefs of fear. And when those irrational beliefs left, fear left. As belief in His protection, His guarding, His covering became solidified, I began to live and think differently—convinced of His goodness in my life. When we know who God is, as our protector, and when we know where we live, within his shadow and covering, confidence in His love and goodness becomes our resounding song. That’s where the bridge of this song was formed. We intentionally wanted it to be a statement that made our hearts come alive. A loud, declarative phrase emphasizing our confidence in His goodness over our lives. “I can bet my life on Your love.”
Whatever you may be walking in today, take a moment to remind your soul where you are standing—in the shadow of our loving Father. When those fearful, anxious thoughts come, combat them with the truth of God’s protection, who is RIGHT NOW, covering your life, holding and protecting you. “I’m living fully covered by Your wings, in a place where fear can’t conquer.”
If you want to check out the full live worship video of “Shadow”, you can find it on our YouTube page.