In the face of a devastating loss, our belief in the goodness of God can naturally be questioned. We wonder how a good God could allow us to experience such grief or pain, and why our circumstances turned out the way they did..
TobyMac is one of the most prolific Christian music artists in the industry. From his early days on DC Talk, to a thriving solo career that garnered him seven Grammy Awards and more than 16 million units sold, Toby has given thousands around the world eclectic hymns to their faith.
In 2019, he and his family suffered a huge tragedy when Toby’s eldest son, Truett, died of an accidental drug overdose shortly after his first flagship show.
“Truett had a joy that filled the room when he walked in,” Toby said at the time.
“He had a big, indomitable personality and dreams to match, and he hated being put in a box. He was a magnetic son, a brother and a friend.
Over the next nearly three years, as the world then crumbled for the pandemic, Toby began to write.
Initial release 21 years old in homage to Truett, then Promised land and Help is on the way, TobyMac documented his journey from pain to hope, culminating in his new album Life after death.
“I’ve always written songs from my own life, but life has always been pretty good to be honest,” Toby said in an interview.
“It has been an incredible journey. I had pains, I had difficulties, but nothing like that.
God promises to be there in our pain
When Toby wrote those early songs, “what I was beginning to learn was that although God doesn’t always take away our pain – He doesn’t promise we won’t experience pain – He promises there with us. in her “.
“He’s been true to that for me.”
“What I was beginning to learn was that although God doesn’t always take away our pain – He doesn’t promise we won’t experience pain – He promises He will be there with us.”
Getting to this point hasn’t been easy for Toby, who said that although he always believed in God and didn’t waver in his faith, he challenged God to show up for him this season. .
“I came out on a branch and said, ‘You better show me something,'” Toby said.
“‘I need to see something, I need to know you’re okay’.
“I begged him to show me that he’s there for me, that he’s real.”
Shortly after, Toby wrote the song Goodness with Offor Blessing after ruminating on a quote that read: “A saint is not a good person, but someone who has experienced the goodness of God”.
“Although everything is not perfect, and my life is very different and I will never be the same again, I have – before and after the death of my son – experienced the goodness of God, and I always do,” Toby said.
Turn people’s eyes to the king
The vulnerability that Toby shares on Life after death in many ways gives other incoming artists permission to do the same as they see his lead, but it also reflects a long-standing goal of Toby for faith-inspired music.
“I think he should turn his eyes to the king,” Toby said.
“When I go in to write a song or a record, or [do] an interview, I just say ‘God, breathe something through me that would turn their eyes to you.
“I don’t want people leaving an arena with the name ‘Toby Mac’ on their lips – it won’t get them anywhere.
“I want them to leave this arena with the name ‘Jesus’ on their lips. It’s the cry of my heart, that’s why I make music.
“I want them to leave this arena with the name ‘Jesus’ on their lips. It’s the cry of my heart, that’s why I make music”, – Toby Mac
Fans of Toby’s early music with DC Talk will also have a treat on the new album, as the trio reunites for the single. Space.
The track is about the division that can exist between people and our need to collectively choose unity over separation.
“We’re supposed to cross boundaries and like people well,” Toby said.
“We’re not supposed to draw lines.”
It’s a mission that Toby’s DC Talk brothers, Michael Tate and Kevin Max, also share, and singing along to the track was a great way to show fans that the band are still good friends.
“We text all the time and often,” Toby said.
“We climbed a mountain together out of college, and now we’re climbing three different mountains, so the luxury of just being together no longer exists.”
Combining his journey of grief with iconic collaborations and his trademark sound, TobyMac said on Life after death“I kind of took God to task.”
“I said, ‘You’re gonna let this happen in my life, I’m gonna give you a chance to show you’re good,'” he said.
“And I can only tell you this: that it is good.
“He met me deep in the valley and, he didn’t take away the pain but, he never left me.
“It’s life after death.”
The new album by TobyMacLife after death is now available.
Article provided to 96five with thanks to Hope Media.
Featured Image: Publicity Photo Provided
About the Author: Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.