Like so many of my songs, “Start Again” began with an honest moment of prayer. I had been repenting of some hidden sins suddenly thrust into the light, when the words seemed to form musical phrases in my mind. Before I knew it, I was writing down this song.
There are many songs out there about God’s forgiveness and His redemption power that is able to save us from sin. There are plenty of songs that describe sin as being a thing of the past and express the relief and gratitude of salvation from such sin. But not many songs describe the actual process of repentance.
I wanted to write such a song. I wanted to tell the story of turning from sin and, in the same action, turning to face God head-on. I wanted, without getting too personal, to name the sins that seem so innocently to steal upon my heart and ensnare me.
I drew from a couple of scriptures in composing Start Again. One was Psalm 51, the repentance psalm of David after his adultery and murder was confronted by the prophet Nathan. In response to deep conviction, David cries out to God:
“Generous in love – God, give grace!
Huge in mercy – wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
Soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
My sins are staring me down.”
– Psalm 51:1-3 (MSG)
There is conviction in this song Start Again and hope for a fresh start as well. There is confession and there is reconciliation with God. Here is the other scripture that formed part of the inspiration for this song:
“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
His merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!”
– Lamentations 3:22-23 (MSG)
I find the metaphor of renewed morning mercy quite powerful. The notion of God’s mercy being so abundant, so relentless, that it’s like brand new with the first light of each day, continues to inspire me.
I hope that this song inspires you in repentance and in receiving fresh mercy from God. May you be continually reconciled to him so you can start again in the beckoning of dawn.
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