BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#742 - "Eye of the Storm" by Ryan Stevenson
Ryan Stevenson shares the personal process and experiences that fueled chart-topping song "Eye of the Storm."
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #742 -
Posted: July 29, 2016 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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The song "Eye of the Storm" featuring Gabe Real is from Ryan Stevenson's album Fresh Start, released in 2015. The album followed up his label debut EP Holding Nothing Back, featuring his version of "Speak Life," which he co-wrote with TobyMac.  

"Eye of the Storm" has resonated with listeners everywhere and has risen to the top of radio charts in multiple formats. With its moving message about clinging to God in the midst of the storms of life, it's no surprise that it has impacted so many listeners. I had the chance to speak with Ryan about his emotional hit song "Eye of the Storm."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

There is an interesting story behind this song. I recorded my album Fresh Start last summer, and we had room for one more song. I felt I said everything I had to say, and this song was the last song we added to the album. I said to myself that for this last song, I'm just going to say whatever I want to and talk about the nitty gritty of the human condition. 

The backstory is that I spent 8 years as a paramedic before I was ever signed to a record label. I dip into that experience a lot, especially in seeing people in the midst of tragedy, because I lived it for 8 years on the streets. For this song, I felt like we had to have a song on the album where we talked about that stuff and pointed people to our only hope, which is Jesus Christ, in the midst of truly terrible circumstances that I've witnessed over and over. 

Personally for me, I lost my mom at a young age, and my wife and I had a miscarriage of our twins a few years ago. A lot of this song is about my heart going through the ringer. One of the things I've seen as a paramedic is that we all have true, real struggles, ugly parts of our lives that we are dealing with and failures and defeats. In the middle of that, when we feel our sails are ripped out in the battles and wars we are going through, we can feel like we float out to sea where the Lord isn't paying attention to us and He's overlooked us. I want this song to say no to that. His promise to us is that He is the anchor of our being, and He is our only hope.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 23 (NKJV): "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

Psalm 23:4 (VOICE): "Even in the unending shadows of death's darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted."

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Matthew 11:28 (NIV): "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Romans 8:28 (VOICE): "We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan."

Hebrews 6:18-19 (NLT): "So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary."

What is the takeaway message?

We are told in God's Word that He is able to work all things together for good. That's hard to believe sometimes in the middle of darkness, because we believe that God has varying degrees of goodness. I'm honored that this song is striking a chord with people. 

I grew up in a little country church in Oregon, and I grew up learning about Jesus through the old hymns. That's another part of this song. I wanted to say what I wanted to say, and I wanted to write a hymn. I wrote it that way feeling that it would never go to radio if I did that, thinking there's no way radio is going to play a hymn or play a song that talks about tough stuff. It's just been a testimony to my heart and an encouragement to me personally that the Lord took this song and say to me, "Who do you think you are? You have no idea what I'm capable of." 

The very last segment of the song about "where a sickness takes my child away, there's nothing I can do--" for me as a dad, we have two healthy little boys. In between those boys, we lost twins to miscarriage, so for me that hits home personally, and a couple of my friends lost their daughters to disease and addiction. It's very real. People have watched their children die, and it's devastating. I know I'm not alone. Those lyrics have reached across the globe to a lot of parents who have lost their children. That Hebrews 6:18-19 passage and Romans 8:28 passage tie this song together. "God has given both His promise and His oath. It is impossible for God to lie."

Lyrics:
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
And in the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm
When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies, and my red eyes, I can barely see
When I realize I've been sold out by my friends and my family
I can feel the rain reminding me

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm

Mmm, when my hopes and dreams are far from me, and I'm runnin' out of faith
I see the future I picture slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache are falling down my face
I find my peace in Jesus' name

In the eye of the storm (yeah, yeah), You remain in control (yes you do, Lord)
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me (Your love surronds me) in the eye of the storm (in the eye of the storm)

When the test comes in and the doctor says I've only got a few months left
It's like a bitter pill I'm swallowing; I can barely take a breath
And when addiction steals my baby girl, and there's nothing I can do
My only hope is to trust You
I trust You, Lord
In the eye of the storm (yeah, yeah), You remain in control
In the middle of the war (middle of the war), You guard my soul (yeah!)
You alone are the anchor (ooh), when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me (yeah!)

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control (yes you do, Lord)
In the middle of the war (in the middle of the war), You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor (ooh), when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm, oooh
Oh, in the eye of, oh, in the eye of the storm

I know You're watching me, yea, ay
When the storm is raging (when the storm is raging)
And my hope is gone (and my hope is gone, Lord)
When my flesh is failing, You're still holding on, oh whoa
When the storm is raging (the storm is raging)
And my hope is gone (and all my hope is gone)
When my flesh is failing (my flesh is failing), You're still holding on, oooh
When the storm is raging (when the storm is raging)
And my hope is gone (and my hope is gone)
Even when my flesh is failing (flesh is failing), You're still holding on, holding on

The Lord is my Shepherd
I have all that I need
He lets me rest in green meadows
He leads me beside peaceful streams
He renews my strength
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His Name
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid
For You are close beside me


I imagine this song is sung in the way King David said his profound words of comfort in Psalm 23 to the Lord. David was a shepherd, and he knew that the Lord was his only guide and hope and the Good Shepherd of his soul. This song is all about submitting all of your worries, anxieties and stress to God and letting Him be your guide. God wants to walk beside you, and He wants us to be bold and unafraid.

We all deal with some level of fear, worry and anxiety. God knows that about us, and after I read that He tells us to not have fear or worry in His Word 365 times, enough for one time each day, I have been attentive to that concept in my daily Bible study. I have found that by being washed by the water of the Word, I am strengthened with the Truth that God wants us to know that fear, worry and being anxious is not His plan for our lives. 

As followers of Jesus, we know that we can trust God's Word. I realize that Jesus commands us to trust God's Word completely, no matter our circumstances. We are all a work in progress. Have faith and let God "work all things together for good." Spend time with God, and let Him redeem and restore you. Although many of us may know Proverbs 3:5-6, Solomon wrote that to us to remind us today about the importance of trusting in God with ALL our hearts.

"Eye of the Storm" connects to the biblical Truth found in Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." God loves you so much. Lean on Him and He'll give you strength. What an inspirational message. Jesus commands each of us to trust Him completely. Trusting Jesus assures us that we don't have to be afraid. Pray these words along with Ryan: "In the eye of the storm, You remain in control, in the middle of the war, You guard my soul." Amen to that!

Watch the lyric video below.
 


 

NRT Lead Contributor 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. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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