“Because He Lives,” the worship song inspired by a blade of grass.

Bill and Gloria Gaither met when they both began teaching high school In Alexandria, Indiana. Bill had a background in Gospel music and Gloria had been an English major in college. They began meeting to share ideas about songs, started dating, and were married in 1962. It wasn’t long before their careers shifted from teaching to music full-time.

However, the 1960’s were chaotic and the major shifts in morals and values was upsetting to the Gaithers. They even began to wonder if God had decided to turn the world over to its own devices. 1969 was a particularly bleak season for Bill and Gloria. The “God is Dead” philosophy was spreading across the nation, Indiana experienced an extremely hard winter, Bill was struck with a severe case of mononucleosis, and Gloria experienced some painful false accusations from within her church family. In the midst of this pain and suffering, Gloria learned that she was pregnant. Even though, they were happy, they both wondered if it was wise to bring an innocent baby into such a hard world.

In early spring of that same year, Bill’s father George was visiting Bill and Gloria and called their attention to a small blade of grass that had pushed through the layers of dirt, rock, and concrete to reach the sunlight. That blade of grass had such a strong will to live that it inspired Gloria to write a song expressing the hope that was shaped by the resurrection of Jesus. She wrote these words:

God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal, and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon; An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives…

How sweet to hold a newborn baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives; But greater still, the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because He lives...

And then one day, I’ll cross that river. I’ll fight life’s final war with pain, But then as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives...

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Click here to check out a cool version of the song from Crowder, Johnnyswim, and Tori Kelly recorded for the Easter Service of Passion City Church. 

*Photo courtesy of Bruno Martins and Unsplash

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