Worshipping “out of the depths”
BY KEITH AND KRISTYN GETTY
Keith and Kristyn Getty occupy a unique space in the world of music today as preeminent modern hymn writers. They have created a catalogue of songs teaching Christian doctrine, crossing several genres of composition, which are sung the world over.
F or most people – including believers – “the depths” is the last place from which a song should be sung. We reserve singing for the higher moments of life and faith. For rejoicing. For reflection. For entertainment. For religious tradition.
But the Psalms remind us that singing is a sacred act divinely intended for everything we will experience in this life. This includes a key part that today’s worship is often missing: lament.
The song I Will Wait for You is very special to us. It is a setting of Psalm 130 – a modern reflection of what it means to trust God in the midst of trials. Psalm 130 is often referred to as the De profundis, a Latin phrase meaning “out of the depths.” “The depths” is both figuratively and literally an expression of the deepest canyons of the ocean and of the heart – places where light cannot reach and where any hope for finding the surface above is constantly being crushed by pressure and darkness.
This was a favorite psalm of everyone from Augustine to Martin Luther to Charles Wesley because it connected real life – full of angst and pain – with a real God who is ever present, especially in the depths.
It reminded them then – as it reminds us now – that God invites His children not only to rejoice before Him, but also to bring Him our struggles.
One of our goals over the next five years is to set most of the Psalms to music, rediscovering creative ways we can sing together regardless of where we are – whether soaring on the heights – in excelsis – or buried beneath the depths – de profundis.
This song is a key cog in the wheel of our new project meant to reinvigorate the congregational act of singing the Psalms. It is a heartfelt expression of the gospel’s mirrored invitation of the Psalms to draw near to Christ not from a place of pride or privilege, but from a place of realness and brokenness, aware of the vast, impassable expanse that lies between the ocean floor and the celestial ceiling. Indeed, unless Someone higher than us spans this chasm on our behalf, we have no hope. But because Christ has already fully done this for us at the cross, we are no longer relegated to remaining quiet in the depths. We can cry out because our Savior has felt the same darkness and cold as us, emerging from our depths victorious and creating by His grace the path of honesty and hope for us to follow.
He knows what it feels like to cry out from the depths Himself.
The ancient Psalms express many things we so desperately need in the modern age – not just in our music, but also in our very lives as they are lived together as a spiritual act of worship. The Psalms timelessly paint immutable images of the vast array of the majesty of God. They speak to His wonder and splendor, as well as the eternally creative nuance with which He speaks, moves and employs the mysteries of time and space. But the Psalms also prompt us to behold the more transcendent, awe-inspiring aspects of his powerful deity. They acknowledge that He is also a righteous judge, longing for and guarding His people with a holy jealousy – a Sovereign whose holiness cannot tolerate evil.
Thus collectively, the Psalms portray a compellingly big picture of the God of the Bible, expressing in these observations and interactions with Him – and with life itself – every human emotion we can feel – from praise, celebration, shouting and dancing, to crying, anger, repentance and lament.
This is indeed a masterful Psalm of lament – a healthy outlet of faith and expression that we often lack in our worship. Plainly stated, our worship experiences often leave out the biblical, healthy act of lament. We have lost the sacred invitation to cry out from the depths.
Our hope is this hymn speaks to many people and allows us all to see with fresh eyes the clear invitation from Scripture to spend time waiting on the Lord … no matter how deep in the depths we may be.
Thanks Susan for thinking of us and sharing with the bsf ladies. You’re an inspiration to us and a godly woman. May God continue to use you to reach folks like me that are experiencing Him through different lenses and in awe of His glory, majesty, and holiness. Love you my sister in Christ.
This is so beautiful and anointed.I love worship that focuses on the Lord and brings us into His presence. Thank you. Would love to hear everyone of them.
This is beautiful. As a devoted Psalms student I am excited to learn of your project and request that you put me on the list to received every song.
Someday we will all worship with eyes that see Him, I look forward to meeting you there.
Thank you this is wonderful
Yes Lord i thirsty to meet you on the yonder shore. Please send me every hymn on the play list.
Thanks Susie. The hymn is so relevant to me as I have just come out of hospital where I wsa admitted for a heart condition. With a brother battling with cancer I felt I was in the depths. When I came out of hospital I read the Lamentations because I believed I needed to Lament.The hymn has uplifted me.
This song is amazing and the words impact my heart. The Psalm relates to our prayers for our son and his family having difficulties.
You’re so thoughtful to share this song.
My prayers go out to you and your family.
As I get set for my retirement life I believe this is the right Psalm for me I shall surely wait upon the Lord. This is beautiful Susie.
Beautifully done !!!
Thank you Suzie for keeping us,”In the Loop.” God’s Word is so powerful in song, study, meditation , preaching, teaching,etc.. !!!
What a joy to see what God can do when people use their God given gifts !!! We are blessed !!
Thank you Susie for this song. It is great comfort to and to my family for we are looking after our terminally ill brother.
I plan to share the song, and print the lyrics so that we can read it when all is gone and hold on to God.
thank you and may God bless you.
Thank you my dear sweet friend and sister in Christ Jesus for sharing this Psalm in song .
The apostle Paul said on 2 Timothy 3:16 ” All Scripture is inspired by God and good at teaching, to correct,
to instruct, in righteousness.” Wonderful , beautiful, thanks again .
Love you ,
Thank you Susie so much for sending this beautiful piece out to us! I needed this today in the midst of all the pain, hurt and suffering I see all around me today. My prayer is that we will come to God one day, purely empty of the hate and meanness that has permeated so many souls, and we ask Him for forgiveness for how we have treated one another. To God be the glory!!!
Thank you Susie for sharing this new version of an old hymn originally written by Martin Luther called “Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee.” Martin Luther once said, “I wish to compose sacred hymns so that the Word of God may dwell among the people also my means of songs.” There is also another version of Martin Luther’s song with music and words by David Ward called, “By Grace Alone.” All three songs have some changes in wording and music arrangements but the joy is that they all reflect Psalm 130 and they all mention the words of ‘out of the depths I call to you” and “my voice crying or calling for mercy” and God’s response of “grace” alone.
What a blessing in how God uses people with the gift of music to inspire and lift spirits with hymns that may vary over the years but still resonate out to His people to worship in song to His glory.
Many thanks Suzy, this song is really encouraging, what I need at this moment .. comforting me to trust more and more God’s presence and listenning at the rigth moment. Blessings for you and your familly
Thank you for this song. For myself it is (and has always been) difficult for me to sing when I am wading thru the depths BUT praise God that there has always been hymns and beautiful songs such as this one to help remind me that God is with me as my great help and deliverer.
My heart has been touched by both–the hymn and your message! I plan to share this hymn with others. The Book of Psalms is one of my favorites.
Thanks for sharing, and for the ongoing effort by the entire BSF staff to teach others God’s Word!
Beautiful song it really minister to me this morning. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Susie for sharing. Our hope is in Jesus
A great reminder of what true worship is meant for.
Waiting is also a form of worship. I have been waiting my whole life for one thing or another for the LORD to give me a green light, a red light, or a yellow light, which is, by far, the hardest to wait. It’s all worth waiting. The yellow light is the most important. It teaches me a time to prepare, anticipate, foresee the great future He has planned for us. He is worth waiting!
Love You Lord. I will forever wait upon You!
Pidzar “Pete or Petie” Dremel
Thank for sharing music that can really speak to your heart. May God continue to use this kind of hymnody to draw us to Himself.
Thank you Susie for sharing this beautiful piece of Music. The song is how we are to worship the Lord at all times.
Dear Susie Thanks for your recent communication and encouragement with a song and prayer from Psalms 130.Yes”I will wait for you”Lord:by Keith and Kristyn.It is not only a blessings but also a reminder that it only noble thing to do now in preparation of the perfect Judge Lord Jesus Christ.It is a call imminently revealed to the world by John in book of Revelation and truly a blessing to me among other BSFer’s fraternity.Thanks to BSF who have created a conducive avenue to Study Bible.Indeed some of us are looking forward to the next session in September.To God be the glory for ever Amen.
Thank you Susie,
The blog, the music and the reminder that the Lord is with me in the depth of all my obstacles , also reminds me to acknowledge His presence always.
Thank you, love through Christ Jesus!
Thank you for sharing Susie. What a blessing!!!
Thank you, for sending this to me.
I love singing hymns in church and at home. It’s away to open my heart to our Lord Jesus Christ ❤️
Looking forward to Acts and Letters of Paul.
Blessings to you❤️
Thank you for sharing this, how we must learn to communicate to God through Music!
Great idea to bring back the Psalms set to music! I grew up in a denomination that sang the Psalms every Sunday. It was a special blessing to be able to study the Psalms last year during the Old Testament BSF study and refer to the coordinating Psalms in my collection of Psalter Hymnals. There is an old adage that applies here – sing it, and you’ll never forget it!
Worship through sacred music & lyrics from the Book of Psalms with modern tempo will enrich my QT sessions.
Many thanks for sharing with the BSF community Susan.
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Thanks so much for sharing the Getty’s music. They are one of my favorites. Their music is always very purposeful and theologically sound. This song is one that I listen to all the time. Their CD of the Psalms is awesome.
I loved the lyrics but what I most liked was that it was a frame song – started and ended with a bagpipe sound backing a chorus – and then the beautiful solo in the middle – gorgeous and soul touching!
Thanks a lot for this, so inspirational music. God bless you all for proclaiming HIS WORD through music.
Thank you Susie for sharing the beautiful and inspirational song. God bless!
Thank you so..much for this inspirational song. I am up so early this morning and it has prepared me for my devotion and reading!
Thank you very much for sharing. Indeed the words were meant that I have to wait on the Lord at this particular moment . I have Remain blessed.
Thank you so much Suzie, just the message my family and I needed to hear this morning! Thank you for sharing. God bless.
Thank you for encouraging us to sing in worship.
Any time is praise time.
All that has life and breath, sing to the Lord.
This has blessed me this morning.
Thank you Susie for sharing.
Thanks Susan for sharing this powerful worship song. Beautiful rendition. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit.
Many thanks our Dear Susan, for such a beauitful hymn. I have been ill since March and I am trusting God that I will be able to attend the study of Acts. This psalm was such a blessing to my heart and my soul this morning to start my devotion. Please don’t ever let us stop the music and singing in BSF. We need both the Music and God’s word. May God continue to bless BSF and all of our BSF leaders. Love always through Christ Jesus!
And may God bless you with the healing In his wings!
Wonderful ! What a blessing. Thank you.
Dear Williet, Hoping and praying that you will be healed by His word and all the physical care you can receive. May the Lord help you through the challenges of health to continue to be a light to others who come your way. Yes as you said, may we be singing and hoping and being renewed in our faith.
Have you wondered if you could ever get into the mind of one of the biblical characters and delve into their thoughts as they made their choices through their difficult lives? Well – I believe that the Psalms provide us that glimpse – a fascinating psychological delight, understanding that these biblical characters relied on God’s relationship just like David and the others who wrote songs/psalms. For us to savor, their beautiful relationship with their God and creator who answered them, is a revelation. Enjoy psalms for the thoughts expressed to a real God, by real people struggling with real lives.
Thank you so much for your encouraging words. The book of Psalms is one of my favorite books. Isaiah 43 has been a great message of comfort during times of suffering. Isaiah remind us in vs (2) “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flames burn you. Vs (3)a”For I am the Lord your God.”Vs(4)a”Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honor and I Love you. These are beautiful and loving words from our God who loves us so much. I am so bless to know our God and savior during such a time as this in my life and I am so grateful to my friend Eva who encouraged me in 2001 to join BSF. I am very grateful for music it is such a joy to me and I am so bless to have a circle of believers who uplift me such as yourself. I hope and pray that I too have brought comfort to someone who may be experiencing some suffering or trials in there life. I am so thankful for the song as well as your words! God loves us! May God richly bless you and keep you!
I love that the Gettys have made so many of the all time favorites popular again. With each song, they push you to see God anew and be in awe of Him all over again.
I have heard the ”Praise and Harmony” group do this song acapella on a YouTube video, and always liked it. Now I have a printed copy and am heading to the piano to play it. Thanks for the beautiful song – I didn’t realize it was from Psalm 130. Thanks BSF!
The song spoke to me as my only hope is in my Lord for His mercy, redemption and promotion. Thank you Lord. Susie thank you for sharing.
Beautiful reminder of God’s faithful presence in good, and not-so-good times!
I will surely wait for Him.
What a blessing to connect the depths of my heart to HIS! Glorious!!
There’s hope in a hopeless situation Jesus an ever present hope
There’s hope even in a hopeless situation.
A great and an all time reminder,
to wait on a He Lord.
He is our Lord , savior, our eternal hope and joy.
It reminds us of:
Psalm 33:20 NIV
 “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield”.