Romans 8:28 | NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Though our modern worship song library is already full of lyrics that originate from Romans 8:28, for the first time in my life, I was utterly dependent on this truth to be actualized in our story. My wife and I were finally in a place of desperation for this promise of “good” to either change our circumstance or change our hearts.

We were convinced God had called us according to His purpose in December of 2014 as we waited anxiously in a borrowed guest room in Florida for the birth of our first son. The journey that brought us to that moment was long and hard, filled with tears, anger, and doubt. Though miscarriage had robbed us of our family’s beginning twice we couldn’t shake the feeling that God was redeeming it for His glory and our good right then and there.

We had arrived in Orlando a couple weeks too early. Whether the due date was wrong or our birth mom just delivered late we don’t know but what we expected to be days turned into weeks. The two weeks of waiting felt like years. Our hearts were so excited to see how this crazy but wonderful story would finally unfold and how God would put all the pieces together to show off his goodness in our story.

As the waiting dragged out, my fingers got too anxious and so I hopped on craigslist and snagged a Baby Taylor to pass the time. The guitar instantly soothed my anxiety and gave me an outlet to express some of the emotions swirling in my heart. Ironically enough, the very first chords I played, once I brought it back to our place in the rural gator-filled outskirts of Orlando, made up the chord progression to the verses of this song.

The song didn’t come out instantly, however. Little pieces of it formed throughout our adoption journey. The first verse was written as I pondered the loss of our two babies in juxtaposition to the baby that was about to be gifted to us. I wondered if, though God can move mountains, if He chooses not to at times in order to work out a bigger and better story. He’s God after all, He’s allowed to say no. And when He does, it doesn’t mean He failed, it could very well mean He’s waiting. He hasn’t changed when He says yes to one thing and no to another, He very well could use suffering to build character and hope within us. Not a fun or popular idea, but it’s a Biblical one (Ro. 5:3-4).

The bridge was written in response to a moment of turmoil on Christmas Day. Isaac had been born on the 23rd and everything up to that point had gone smoothly. Isaac’s birth mom had been incredibly gracious and had invited us to be a part of the whole birth process, from sonograms before the birth to inviting us into the delivery room the day of! We got to experience everything first hand as if it was our own first baby! We stayed that first night with her and Isaac in the hospital room and shared the responsibilities of caring for his needs the next 36 hours. But late Christmas Eve, as Tina and I were running an errand, we got a call from the social worker that Isaac’s birth mom wanted to stay with Isaac alone for the next day. So on our very first Christmas as parents, we spent it without our son. It was that day that the enemy really had a field day with our emotions, causing us to doubt the whole thing. What if birth mom changed her mind? What if she kept him? What if all this time, all these home studies, all this money, all these payers from friends and family, what if it all turned on us and we had to fly home with an empty car seat? Would God still be working for our good?

Though it’s easy to say from my chair today, I still have to answer: Yes.

Even when the battle is currently raging, even when everything is turning on me, even when I don’t even know if my faith is faith at all, even when it feels like hell on earth, I have to still believe God is working for my good when I am walking in His purpose. And so the bridge presents a raw and authentic lyric that admits the struggle but upholds the truth that faith can still survive in these arid circumstances.

The chorus, obviously enough, supports the central claim in this story—that God is a redeemer indeed! In ALL things He restores dreams, mends broken hearts, writes better stories, and works to see good be granted to lives that are seeking His purpose. But don’t be mistaken, this isn’t some prosperity gospel chorus. God sometimes doesn’t use outwardly pleasant circumstances to bring about good in our lives. Because “good” is ultimately whatever brings Him glory and us into closer relationship to Him. Which is why this song is called “When Mountains Stay,” because sometimes they do…

And then again…

…sometimes they DON’T!

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Verse 1
When mountains move and when they stay
You will remain You’re never failing
When blessings come and when they wait
You stay the same You never fail me
In everything, help me believe

Chorus 1
In all things You are working for the good in me
In all things every mountain high and valley low
I’ll lay my story down in Yours alone I’m found
I trust You’re working to see the good in me

Verse 2
In every trial, more trust is made
You are my rock, my shield my strength
In every praise, in every fear
These hands I raise, You’re always near me
Your glory reigns, I will believe

When my worry turns to doubt
and my world turns upside down I’ll still believe
When this battle rages on
and it feels like hope is gone I’ll still believe
When my words say “It is well”
But my life’s a living hell I’ll still believe

Chorus 2
In all things You are working for the good in me
In all things every season of my life
In all things You are working for the good in me
In all things every mountain high and valley low
I’ll lay my story down in Yours alone I’m found
I know Your best will be more of You less of me
So make Your work complete and let my heart believe
that You are working to see the good in me


Romans 8:28 | NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 5:3-4 | NIV
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Psalm 18:2 | NIV
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Philippians 1:6 | NIV
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.