BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#1001 - "Oasis" by Kalley
NRT's Kevin Davis talks with the Bethel Music worship leader about her newest song.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #1001 -
Posted: January 08, 2020 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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Bethel Music has introduced and developed several amazing worship leaders, including Brian and Jenn Johnson ("Have it All"), Amanda Lindsey Cook ("Awakening"), and Jeremy Riddle. Let's not forget Steffany Gretzinger ("Save Me"), Kalley Heiligenthal ("Ever Be"), Kristene DiMarco ("It is Well"), Paul and Hannah McClure ("Jesus We Love You"), Josh Baldwin ("Stand In Your Love") and Melissa and Jonathan David Helser. Bethel has introduced churches to many recognizable songs like "One Thing Remains," "Forever," "You Make Me Brave," "No Longer Slaves," "Seas of Crimson," and "This is Amazing Grace."
 
Bethel worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal recently released two debut solo EPs: Faultlines Vol. I and Faultlines Vol. II. Give her new albums some deep listens and you'll love them. For me, I hang on every single word: the stirring vocals, the prayerful lyrics, and the musical arrangements are breathtaking.

These quality albums are chalked full of very heartfelt and introspective songs. They are reflective and worshipful. Great additions to your worship collection. Each song has a poignant message, which hits me even harder, considering the tragedy Kalley just experienced with the passing of her youngest daughter Olive. She was only two years old. I had the chance to speak with Kalley about her song, "Oasis."


Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

The place that "Oasis" came from was that we had all the songs already written and done. And, I was trying to find a summary statement using some of this imagery. I wanted an upbeat song, that was meaningful. These songs came out of a time that was very raw and vulnerable for me. 

I wanted an invitation to dive in and look at some things that were painful. Theme-wise, I wanted to be really careful to not slap a happy bow on something. But, instead, have it feel like a kind of pinnacle moment or like an overarching statement at the very end. After all of this process. After everything we've said on these albums.
 
We wanted to make this video in the desert for a different song. And, when I read in the Bible what it says about deserts, I was thinking about how, in the Old Testament, the Israelites struck a rock and water poured out. It's such a wonderful story of provision, that even when you can't see, God can make what you need appear before you. I might not ever be taken out of this situation. But, I can survive the situation because of who He is in me. Because of all He's done. Just because I have Him. I wanted to make references to Bible stories. Colors in the sky after forty rains is based on Noah's story, which has a light feel, but a weighty meaning.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Isaiah 43:19 (NLT): For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
 
Romans 15:13 (NIV): "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV): "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT): "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV): "For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Psalm 46:10 (NKJV): "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

1 Kings 19:12 (KJV): "And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

John 14:16 (NKJV): "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever."
 
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

1 John 4:18-19 (NKJV): "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us."

What is the takeaway message?

We were considering making a music video for a different song initially, and a motif that connected both albums. This motif involves coming out of a natural disaster and things that happen outside of our control. 

A wildfire came through our home, Redding, California in summer 2018. A tornado inside that fire took out 65 homes in our neighborhood. We had heard for 12 hours that our home was gone before finding out it was still standing. Processing that for 12 hours, being on the other side of that with the survivor's guilt, and seeing all that destruction really catapulted me into looking at questions about other areas or fires in my life that I felt were out of control. And, engaging with God about the messes in my life and in seasons of pain and grief. Sometimes we want to hurry up and see the beauty after the ashes. I myself was in the middle of the rubble. I'm uncomfortable in those moments, but Jesus isn't. He moves into the neighborhood with us. His presence is what we need. He is ready and willing to hold us in those moments. He will bring beauty and resolve. He is the Good News.
 
I've always wanted to work the word 'ecosystem' into a song lyric. It's such an image, the whole world we are in. Regardless of whatever situation we find ourselves in--the driest desert or the toughest place--we always have a wellspring inside of us. We do have this source from within, Jesus Christ, the Hope of Glory, sitting inside of our chests. At any point, He's there and available to give us anything we need in any circumstance we find ourselves in. 

When we come to know the Kingdom of God, we have this other way of seeing things that others see differently. We have hope where nobody else can find it. We have peace when it seems that all we have is angst. We have resolve where others have none. "Oasis" is a heart work. True to the name of the song, it expresses that sentiment of God being an oasis within me. God does things in ways that I don't understand, but He comes through every time.

Lyrics

You are my ecosystem
You are the air I'm breathing
In the endless wasteland
You are my rushing fountain
 
You are my ecosystem
No matter what the weather
You are my better option
No matter what I'm facing
 
You are water from the rock and I'll thirst no more
You hold up my arms when I'm battle-torn
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me
You are colors in the sky after forty rains
In the thick of the night, You're the break of day
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me
 
You are the thing I've needed
In each and every season
And I really mean it
Yeah, I really mean it
 
And You are water from the rock and I'll thirst no more
You hold up my arms when I'm battle-torn
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me
You are colors in the sky after forty rains
In the thick of the night, You're the break of day
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me
 
Storm or drought
Surrounded by fire or flood
With You, I'm never without
So if I go or stay
I know that it's all the same
It's You, You are my escape
 
And You are water from the rock and I'll thirst no more
You hold up my arms when I'm battle-torn
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me
You are colors in the sky after forty rains
In the thick of the night, You're the break of day
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me
 
And You are water from the rock and I'll thirst no more
You hold up my arms when I'm battle-torn
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me
You are colors in the sky after forty rains
In the thick of the night, You're the break of day
Oasis within me, You're the oasis within me


Closing Thoughts

Bethel Music's ministry has been marked by bringing people into an encounter with God's love through worship and discipleship. Their albums capture the heart of people who are passionate for God. People who seek an encounter with His presence. 

Kalley's albums are filled with overwhelming biblical truth. If you put the music on repeat, you'll notice how each song gets deeper with comforting biblical messages that God is love, and we love because He first loved us. Have joy and worship aloud about the love of God in your life. When you've encountered the love of God, you won't be the same.
 
"Oasis" compels me to worship Jesus and profess my own appreciation for His pure love. This song is a gorgeous profession of Kalley's sincere desire to serve Jesus. I get completely overwhelmed by the song's emotion, especially with her family's recent tragedy. 

Right from the opening notes, I'm captivated by the song's melody and message. Kalley pours her heart out in her music. This gives listeners a chance to experience her deep feelings, insecurities, and desires for holiness directly to God. Please join me in praying over Kalley and her family.
 
This song celebrates the freedom we are promised in God's Holy Word (2 Corinthians 5:17): "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Christians are new creations on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives us new life, and we don't have to live anymore with our guilt, fears, or worries. We are born again. 

We need to live as children of God. Believing the words of "Oasis" is a great way to work on the disciplines of self-examination and prayer. It takes awhile to get quiet in our culture. Unplug, and go deeper with Jesus. I'm completely convicted by the unique lyrics and find immense comfort in this song. 

Commit your heart to Jesus as your first love. I've written 1,000 song devotionals; music that lifts up the name of Jesus. It's hard to believe. The Lord has given me the opportunity to write about 1,000 songs. The thing is that all these song devotionals cannot lift His name high enough. The name, His name, the name we'll sing about for all eternity. The foretaste of that blessed truth causes me to sing along loudly, "You are the thing I've needed/In each and every season/And I really mean it/Yeah, I really mean it." Amen to that.

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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