“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1b-3
2020 put a different kind of pressure on me as a songwriter. As a creative person and especially as someone who wants to help give other people truth to sing to God, I felt a responsibility to show up more than ever and write songs that could help us all make sense of what was happening. Some of what I felt was good and inspired me to be more vigilant and aware, but some of it was toxic and translated to a lot of striving and overthinking.
At one point early on in our quarantine, I remember sitting on the floor in my closet (which is not an inspiring space) with my guitar, our 4 kids raging just outside our bedroom door, Kerri and I about to lose our minds, and there I was feeling all the pressure to come through with “THE” song that would heal the world.
I don’t have to tell you that nothing good came from my closet sessions. I had too much of myself and my ego wrapped up in that moment to do anything good for anyone else. It took some time but eventually I put my phone down, stopped watching what everyone else was doing, and decided to just embrace the slow down.
I started going for walks with my kids and sitting on our front porch with my wife. I started reading way more. I turned 37 and celebrated with friends as they drove by our house to wish me a happy birthday at a distance. Most importantly I took Jesus up on His invitation to come and just be with Him.
As my calendar slowly cleared, so did my headspace.
“Breakthrough Miracle Power” came to me through my friend Jon around this time. Patrick Mayberry and Bede Benjamin-Korporaal had written a good bit of the song already and it just about knocked me over the first time I heard it. In a season of uncertainty, these lyrics were calling us back to something solid.
After sitting with it for a bit, this little refrain came out while I was sitting at the piano one day…
As long as you’re in it
The story’s not finished
I know you’ve overcome
So I know I’ll overcome
Wrapped up in this simple bridge was a truth I had re-learned after a complicated few months: Jesus is the author of the story, and He’s a really good writer. Our prayer for you is that through the truth in this song, you will remember who you’re singing to and what He’s capable of. He is the Overcomer, and we are beneficiaries of His victory.
So… “let us fix our eyes on Jesus.”
– Kristian Stanfill