The Story behind "Awesome God"
I always find it very interesting how many songs that we find so deep and meaningful came out of simple, even banal moments. I once heard Twila Paris talk about coming up the "The Joy Of The Lord" while she was washing dishes.
I guess artistic minds find artistry in everything. Even driving at night trying to stay awake. That's the story of how Rich Mullins "wrote" the song "Awesome God" according to his brother.
He was driving to a concert by himself in Colorado and was having trouble staying awake. He also happened to be thinking about old, country preachers and the way they preached. Or at least the caricature of one of those preachers.
He rolled down his window and started yelling out the window the way (and the phrases) he imagined one of those preachers might have done.
There's thunder in his footsteps and lightning in his fists!
Rich's brother David said that Rich thought it was humorous.
When he rolls up his sleeves, he ain't just puttin' on the ritz.
You can almost picture the scene in your mind. Windows down, window blowing and Rich imitating an old timey preacher. The story goes that at that next concert, he taught the song to the audience. And at some point, he put the real Rich Mullins touch to it:
Judgement and wrath he poured out on Sodom
Mercy and grace he gave us at the cross
I hope that we have not too quickly forgotten
That our God is an awesome God
So next time you're killing time or trying to stay awake, maybe you should write down some of those thoughts. You never know when God's going to give you the pieces of an anthem that will rally believers for decades.