Leslie McKee has recently released her latest album, Another Mile. This is a very personal album with biblically based lyrics, and these are passionate songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence. Musically this album is very soothing, and the songs are all edifying, challenging and filled with very biblical lyrics. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album.
"Another Mile is the culmination of the many miles traveled to work on this project and the many places my heart has journeyed over the past few years," McKee shares. "My desire is that my life experiences will be used as a platform to shine the light of Jesus into the dark places; that the songs on this album will offer hope to the broken in spirit and will encourage those who are weary to keep holding on." I had the chance to speak with Leslie about title track "Another Mile."
Please tell me the personal story behind this song.
As we were writing and planning for the album, we were given a few songs to consider recording as well, and this was one of them. The album recording process was a bit of a bumpy ride. As soon as we began, my world was rocked by depression, which came out of some dishonesty and trust being violated that we were dealing with in our church community. That also caused issues for me with anxiety and trust, not just with man, but also with God. The road to healing took several years. We started recording for the album 4 years ago.
In 2016, I felt God telling me to press on. I also ended up with respiratory infections, and in the weeks leading up to the final vocal sessions, we had several distractions that needed my attention. All of that to say, "Another Mile" is about pressing on and going that extra mile. For me, there were times I wanted to quit and throw in the towel. I wondered if it wasn't meant to be with all the opposition I was facing. This song and a lot of the songs on the album were specifically chosen to bring hope to those in need. I wanted these songs to reflect that life can be hard, but we have encouragement and hope through Jesus Christ. That's what I wanted to shine through. Rather than stay in a dark place, I wanted to acknowledge in these songs that life can be hard and to rely on Jesus.
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Deut. 31:8(NLT): "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you."
Psalm 46:1(NLT): "God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble."
Psalm 59:9(NLT): "You are my strength; I wait for You to rescue me, for You, O God, are my place of safety."
Psalm 73:25-26(NKJV):"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.'
Psalm 73:24-25(VOICE): "Even though I was angry and hard-hearted, You gave me good advice; when it's all over, You will receive me into Your glory. For all my wanting, I don't have anyone but You in heaven. There is nothing on earth that I desire other than You."
2 Cor. 4:8-11 (NLT): "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."
Philippians 4:13(NKJV): "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
What is the takeaway message?
It is important to acknowledge that we aren't perfect. I fail, and others fail. For me, in that moment deep down in my heart I knew that God didn't abandon me. His Word tells us that He'll never leave or forsake us. We are told in James 1 that "when trouble comes our way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. Let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed you'll be strong of character and ready for anything." It doesn't say if trouble comes, it clearly says when trouble comes. That question leads us to how are we going to respond when trouble comes?
I was at an eye doctor appointment, and he asked me how I was doing. At that moment, the tears started to pour. We reflected together about the story of the disciples out on the lake in the storm and how Jesus saw they were struggling, and He walked out to them on the water. Jesus told them to not be afraid. Peter walked out on the water towards Jesus. When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. When he called out for Jesus to save him, He did. That eye doctor appointment turned into a divine appointment. I was challenged to shift my focus. Instead of keeping my eyes focused on Jesus, I was looking at everything around me. I was drowning in sorrow and self-pity.
Tied back to the song, it says to take it step by step. Sometimes taking that step is to take time to rest in His presence, soaking in His Word and remembering His promises to us. Sometimes that means holding tightly to His hand, not knowing what's next but trusting that He's going to lead and He's going to provide. Maybe that step is releasing our grip on the control we have and surrendering our will as an act of worship, acknowledging that He is who He says He is. I hold on to His promises in His Word. He says He is here; don't be afraid. That's my journey with the song.
Pieces scattered like a puzzle
Life can be as cold and hard as concrete
Every reason not to keep on moving
Every time the ground pulls out from under your feet
Oh, take it step by step
Oh, I keep telling myself
A little more storm till the sun shines
A little more sea till the shoreline
Hold on, hold tight
Everything's gonna be alright
A little more road when it's running out
A little more faith to kill the doubt
Another tear for another smile
When you wanna give up go another mile
Reaching, fighting through the feeling
Of trying to control everything that I can't change
Oh, take it step by step
Oh, I keep telling myself
Another dance, another try
Another fall, another fight
As believers, it would be powerful if we could start to show our witness of God not only in our times of hardship, but also by leaning into Him and showing our joy in terms of celebrating God. That in some ways is just as inspirational. Joy isn't just a happy emotion. It is also a deep peace and understanding, knowing that we are loved without a shadow of a doubt. We should not be ashamed to sing of our dependence on God and to show Him reverence. What are those things in your life that are beyond you that you can turn over to God? Allow Him and His supernatural ability to take you to places that you can't handle on your own.
This is a great song about having faith that God participates in the lives of His people. We need to have faith that God participates meaningfully in our lives as followers of Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, He's with us during our battles. Jesus commands us to trust God's Word completely, no matter our circumstances.
We can face our daily struggles with more courage and strength because we know that whatever the outcome, based on His promise in Romans 8:28, "God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." The song represents life and includes some great challenges to step out in faith and trust in God, even when you want to give up or can't see where you're going. We aren't the source of the power to overcome our challenges. God is our greater power source that brings the true power. In our weakness, God's strength is perfect.
This song represents the victory that we have over our situations before we even know the earthly outcome by trusting that God is going before us and He wins. We think that we can fix situations in our lives, and God reminds us that we can't fix things on our own without God. His love is never-ending, and He is our refuge and our strength. If you are looking for a firm foundation in your life, sing with conviction: "A little more faith to kill the doubt, another tear for another smile, when you wanna give up, go another mile." 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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