I Raise a Hallelujah
I heard the story behind Bethel Music’s anointed song, “I Raise a Hallelujah”. A few days before Christmas, 2-year-old, Jaxon, was airlifted to intensive care and the church began to fight for his life. A symphony of prayer rose up. Two weeks into the fight, Bethel songwriter, Jonathan Helser, received a text from the dad saying they weren’t sure Jaxon was going to make it through the night. As Jonathan read the text, he said, “A giant of unbelief stood up in front of me. All of a sudden, this song came out of my gut and the unbelief began to fall”:
“I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies.
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief.
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody.
I raise a hallelujah, heaven comes to fight for me.
I’m gonna’ sing in the middle of the storm.
Louder and louder, you’re gonna’ hear my praises roar.”
Joel Taylor, Jaxon’s father and CEO of Bethel Music, recounts his experience, “God’s timing often doesn’t make sense until you look back to see that mountains were climbed and canyons were crossed on no strength of your own. In the battle for Jaxon’s life, the global church community rose up like a mighty army and joined us in prayer and worship all over the world. Our son was miraculously healed and today is perfectly healthy.”
I have my own “raise a hallelujah” story that began 15-years-ago when a young couple in our church had just given birth to their third child. This couple weren’t just casual church attenders. They were all in! They served. They gave. So, when we received the word that little Owen had lung and kidney complications and his situation was very “touch and go”, we felt an urgency to go and encourage them in their faith — to “raise a hallelujah” with them. After that first night, we continued to go regularly to encourage their faith. After leaving the hospital, Owen continued to have issues with his kidneys and lungs and underwent many surgeries and many hospital stays.
I’ve watched Owen grow in more will and determination than thought possible. We’ve “raised a hallelujah” many times in his life. Now, here’s our miracle “raise a hallelujah” story. This last weekend I went to Tulsa, really on purpose for several reasons. To see my dear mother-in-law, and family, see my niece play soccer, spend time with my best friends, and to see this precious family because it’s birthday month for all four of their children. My godson, Owen’s recent medical reports, are at a level of 80% for his one kidney that survived and his lungs, which were only at 40% capacity before, are now at 75% capacity because he took up swimming. He has thrived in his swimming and his team will be going to State for Bishop Kelley High School in just a couple of weeks.
I saw him compete on Friday and Saturday in his regional competition against sophomores, juniors and seniors. He medaled 5th place. He is freshman. His mom showed me this text message between her and him: She texted him “Swim like the shark is chasing you.” He replied “I am the shark!” The will and determination of Owen, his family and all who are “hallelujah raisers” are standing for his complete wholeness. We won’t quit. We will continue to “raise a hallelujah” for him as he continues to thrive. BTW – godmother’s little boast: He is also a straight-A honor student – excelling in so many ways.
I “raise a hallelujah” today because these stories aren’t isolated incidents. They’re the stories of so many who truly “raise a hallelujah” to God in spite of their circumstances. These two boys both faced death, but they both survived and thrive today. Who is “raising a hallelujah” for you today and who are you “raising a hallelujah” for? Let’s sing in the middle of our storms. Louder and louder, may our praises roar!