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 130a 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 heartplaces 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 lifefull of angst and painwith a real God who is ever present, especially in the depths.  

It reminded them thenas it reminds us nowthat 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 arewhether soaring on the heightsin excelsisor buried beneath the depthsde 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 gospels 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 agenot 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 jealousya 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 Himand with life itselfevery human emotion we can feel from praise, celebration, shouting and dancing, to crying, anger, repentance and lament  

This is indeed a masterful Psalm of lamenta 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. 

207 Comments

  1. Esther Brown

    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.

  2. Betty Ingerick

    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.

  3. Linda Remsberg

    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.
    Linda Remsberg

    • Rose

      Thank you this is wonderful

      • Maj Gen Elizabeth john

        Yes Lord i thirsty to meet you on the yonder shore. Please send me every hymn on the play list.

  4. Zivai zi

    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.

    • Denise Kirkland

      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.

    • Patrick Abalo

      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.

  5. Shirley Nye

    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 !!

    • Grace

      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.

  6. Lisa Oddo

    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 ,

    Lisa Oddo

    • Diana Ashurst

      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!!!

  7. Mary Gardner

    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.

  8. Nana

    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

  9. Linda dickinson

    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.

    • Roberta Harper

      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!

  10. Rhonda Harris

    Beautiful song it really minister to me this morning. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Lim Saw Im

    Thank you Susie for sharing. Our hope is in Jesus

    • Lisa Wright

      A great reminder of what true worship is meant for.

      • Pete Dremel

        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

        • Paulletta Lovett

          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.

    • Fran Goetz

      Thank you Susie for sharing this beautiful piece of Music. The song is how we are to worship the Lord at all times.

    • Johnson N Kimani

      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.

    • MARY MEYER

      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.

      • Williett McDaniel

        Thank you, love through Christ Jesus!

  12. Chris Root

    Thank you for sharing Susie. What a blessing!!!

    • Linda Theresa Peterson

      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❤️

  13. Vickie Karanja

    Thank you for sharing this, how we must learn to communicate to God through Music!

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