BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#253 - "All of Me" by Matt Hammitt
Matt tells NRT's Kevin Davis about the walls he'd built in his heart, and how God tore them down.
 


It is as much true today as it was in the Old Testament: “God has set a time for the punishment of the exiles; when that set time is completed, He will return to them with His gracious promise. Judgment is not the last word God proclaims to the sinners. With His grace he reaches out to them to give them a hope and a future. This promise is, however, conditional. In order to enjoy the benefits of God's grace, sinners must call upon Him, and seek Him with all their heart.” (The preceding was from Asbury’s Bible commentary.)

According to God’s Word in Jeremiah 29:13, we need to search for God with all of our heart. Then, we will find Him when we seek Him will all of our heart. In our fast-paced society, how often are we dedicating our whole heart to God? Do we offer up half-hearted prayers or do we seek Him with all of our heart? As a father and husband, this song challenges me to think about how well I’m showing love for God, my family and people. We all matter to God.

God’s prophetic Word is a great companion to go with the message of Matt Hammitt’s autobiographical new song, “All Of Me.” His son, Bowen, just celebrated his first birthday on September 9, 2011. Bowen, which means "small victorious one," was born with a serious heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). You can read all about him at http://bowensheart.com.

I had the great opportunity to interview Sanctus Real’s lead singer Matt Hammitt about his compelling new song “All Of Me” from his solo worship album Every Falling Tear.

Please tell me the personal story behind writing this song.

Last summer, from April to September, my wife was pregnant with Bowen and we were just waiting to see what God was going to do with our son’s life and our lives. We knew since April that he had a heart defect and he’d most likely make it to full term, but once he was born they didn’t know what would happen. Some of the odds didn’t look good on paper. Obviously we don’t trust odds on paper, but we just spent time in prayer and trusted in God. It was an exercise in relying on God’s promise and faithfulness in the past to carry us through the future.

It was really close to the time before Bowen was born and I had written a lot of the words for the song “All of Me,” but I didn’t have music or the song completed. I went down to visit my friend Bernie Herms, who is one of the most prolific piano players that I know. He started writing the music with me and it was the pinnacle of this feeling for me of uncertainty that my son was about to be born and I was reserving some of my excitement and love for this boy because I was afraid of what would happen and I was afraid to get hurt. I was building walls around my heart to protect myself in case things didn’t go well.

What do you consider to be the takeaway message for listeners?

In those moments that I was hearing Bernie play that music and I was singing those words, “Afraid to love, Something that could break, Could I move on, If you were torn away”--which were the first words I wrote in my journal--I more and more realized that I had to give myself completely to this boy and to the Lord’s will. I knew I needed to fully trust God in what He was going to do in our son’s life and our lives. To be able to walk through that situation and give God all that I have--allow God to do His will and to learn to love and to trust in Him completely.

In terms of a passage about giving our entire hearts to God, David is described as a man after God’s own heart. In spite of our weaknesses and our flaws, God still wants our whole hearts. The end of this song confesses that “Heaven brought you to this moment.” Even though this seemed like a terrible situation, God uses these moments to reveal His glory. He wants to use the darkness of human circumstances to redeem us with His light. He wants to use those moments in our lives to work through us and reveal Himself.

God knit Bowen together in my wife’s womb. He brought us to this place so that we could understand redemption and His grace. A picture of someone who is broken being brought to wholeness. That is the innate yearning that we all have for our future home. Love God with all our hearts while we’re being crafted into the redeemed. Only by His Spirit does He give us the ability to love Him back.

Lyrics:
Afraid to love
Something that could break
Could I move on
If you were torn away
And I'm so close
To what I can't control
I can't give you half my heart
And pray He makes you whole

You're gonna have all of me
You're gonna have all of me
'Cause you're worth every falling tear
You're worth facing any fear
You're gonna know all my love
Even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me
Is where I'll start

I won't let sadness
Steal you from my arms
I won't let pain keep you from my heart
I'll trade the fear of all that I could lose
For every moment I'll share with you

You're gonna have all of me
You're gonna have all of me
'Cause you're worth every falling tear
You're worth facing any fear
You're gonna know all my love
Even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me
Is where I'll start

Heaven brought you to this moment
It's too wonderful to speak
You're worth all of me
You're worth all of me
So let me recklessly love you
Even if I bleed
You're worth all of me
You're worth all of me


Here’s Matthew Henry’s commentary: “God has said it, and we may depend upon it, Seek and you shall find. We have a general rule laid down (Jer. 29:13): “You shall find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.” In seeking God we must search for Him, accomplish a diligent search, searching for directions in seeking Him and encouragements to our faith and hope. We must continue seeking, and take pains in seeking, as those who search; and this we must do with our heart, and with our whole heart, with vigor and fervency, putting forth all that is within us in prayer, and those who thus seek God shall find Him.”

The Lord has knit together this whole scenario for Matt’s family. We spoke about “Forgiven” and “Lead Me” from Pieces of a Real Heart by Sanctus Real before Matt even knew about Bowen’s heart defect. As a Dad and husband, it is profound how Matt’s songs have been touching me. God cares about the inward condition of our hearts, not our outward sanitized conditions. In Ephesians, Paul commands husbands to love our wives. That’s due to our selfish natures and the fact that we let our ambitions, careers and pride get in the way of loving others selflessly and recklessly. This song is all above loving others like Jesus with a servant’s heart.

Matt’s story ministers to everyone and points all of us to God and our need to trust in Him completely. “All Of Me” is one of the most worshipful and powerful songs I’ve heard this year. Whether as an album to set the mood for reflection and worship or for personal times of devotion, I rate Every Falling Tear highly for fans of peaceful and reflective worship songs. Jesus promises us in Matthew 11:29-30: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

We are challenged to seek after Jesus with our whole hearts and He will give us rest. That is so comforting and just like Matt tenderly prays, “I can't give you half my heart, And pray He makes you whole,” we also need to seek God with our whole hearts and He promises we will find Him. Amen to that.

Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ.

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