(In this latest blog series, I am sharing the stories behind some of my original recorded music. I hope you enjoy hearing the songs and reading the background behind each one. The lyrics are included below)

What do you do when things don’t seem to add up in your life?

Disappointments, unexpected health news, troubled relationships, financial hardships, and job stress or change can trigger the “does not compute” alarm button inside to go off.  

A few years ago, the pastor of the church where I was serving did a 6-week series of messages entitled “Essential Equations”. Each sermon was accompanied by a symbolic spiritual “equation” as a creative way to help people understand and remember a unique facet of God’s character and how He cares for us in even in difficult times. As with prior series at the church, I was asked to write a song that our church could associate and sing with during the weeks of the messages. I really enjoyed composing music for our home church but couldn’t come up with any musical ideas for this particular series.

That would soon change, as a few days later I was in a hospital ER with an unexpected impacted kidney stone that required several painful procedures over the next month. During that time the thing that I had taken for granted—my health—was suddenly out of balance. My best intellectual efforts to figure things out didn’t help. In the moments of fear and questioning God gently led me to entrust myself into His hands. This verse became even more relevant and personal as I spoke it out loud, both to God and to myself:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6
)

Each day I prayed that verse. The more I prayed it, the more I felt God’s healing touch move in me, both spiritually and physically.  Looking back, I can see God’s hand and presence was with me through every moment, every appointment, and every procedure. One day during that month I sat at the piano and wrote a song that came from the depth of my soul. The key line of the song was my personal statement of faith in God:


“You are the only solution to the essential equations of life, so I will trust you Lord and I will praise You”

A couple weeks after I finished writing the song “Essential Equations” I presented it to some worship singers from my church and then invited them to try singing it. As soon as I heard Chelsea Kimball sing, I knew that she was the one God intended to voice “Essential Equations”.  This song remains one of my favorites, and I am blessed by Chelsea’s worshipful interpretation of it. Today Chelsea is a full-time worship pastor, a gifted songwriter, and she remains a dear friend of our family.

I am thankful that “Essential Equations” has reached so many people in the church and beyond, and wonder if God may also intend it for your benefit at this very moment. My hope is that whatever crisis or difficulty you may be facing, you can find rest and comfort in the words of this song that come from God’s Word and my own experiences. God is trustworthy and invites you to entrust yourself to Him and then rest in His mighty power. I pray this line from the song will grow to become your own statement of faith and trust in God:

“Trust in the Lord with all of my heart, I won’t rely on my own understanding”

God bless you!

Chris Atkins

(Here are the lyrics of “Essential Equations” to read as you listen to the song)

Essential Equations

Words and music by Christopher J. Atkins ©2008 Christopher Atkins. All rights reserved.

Lord, you over me equals life

‘cause you are the answer, the First and Only One

And nothing can add or subtract

to who You are and what You have done

So when I come to the place where life doesn’t add up

I will turn to You, Lord

and I will drink from Your cup.

‘cause You are the only solution to the essential equations of life

So I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

And even when answers seem unclear

I will look to You, Lord, and I will not fear

I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

There’s no one greater than you

‘Cause You are God, the One who’s always true

And nothing can divide You and me

‘cause Your love will last through eternity

So when I come to the place where life doesn’t add up

I will turn to You, Lord

and I will drink from Your cup.

‘cause You are the only solution to the essential equations of life

So I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

And even when answers seem unclear

I will look to You, Lord, and I will not fear

I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

Trust in the Lord with all of my heart

I won’t rely on my understanding

Trust in the Lord with all of my heart

I won’t rely on my understanding

Trust in the Lord with all of my heart

I won’t rely on my understanding

Trust in the Lord with all of my heart

I won’t rely on my understanding

‘cause You are the only solution to the essential equations of life

So I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

And even when answers seem unclear

I will look to You, Lord, and I will not fear

I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

Yes, I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

Yes, I will trust you, Lord, and I will praise You

Trust you…

Praise You.