Released on the Celebration Table project. Words & Music by Steve Siler
One of the things about running a ministry is that there are always questions that need answers and challenges that need solving. No sooner do I get one issue resolved than another pops up.
My friend Christian counselor Larry Watkins says that if you don’t know the answer to something you don’t need to worry because, “Jesus knows everybody.” Just keep asking and eventually he’ll lead you to the person who knows the answer you’re looking for. I have found that idea to be a comforting during the daytime.
But somehow, in the dark of the night, things always seem…well, darker. The most difficult circumstances feel more difficult. The scary situations seem scarier. My mind starts going down unhelpful roads and spinning scenarios that make sleep virtually impossible.
I have another friend named Bill Allen. Bill is 90. He built a successful insurance company out of the back of his station wagon driving back and forth across the state of Tennessee. He is still active and successful with the business having taken it online and owns a beautiful farm/retreat facility northwest of Nashville.
One day he told me over lunch, “At the end of the day I get down on my knees next to my bed and I say, “ ‘Lord. I’ve done the best I can today. I’m tired now and I’m going to bed. You take it from here.’ Then I lay down and sleep like a baby.“
Again. Sounds good. I know we are supposed to give our burdens to Christ.
In the fall of 2017 I was going through a stretch of sleepless nights and had been praying for a solution to a challenge the ministry was facing. That was the night I actually dreamed the melody that would become the song I’ve Got This.
Now I’ve learned the hard way that if you wake up with a melody in your head it is best to get to the piano, the guitar, or a recording device and capture it immediately.
That space halfway between awake and asleep is not a good place for retaining memories. We’ve all had the experience of having a wild dream and thinking, “I’ll never forget that!” And by the end of breakfast it is already becoming fuzzy and breaking apart.
So I jumped out of bed and raced to the piano. Since the melody had come to me in my sleep and was very comforting I found myself singing about not being able to sleep. But when I got to the chorus suddenly the perspective changed and I found myself singing the words God might sing to me.
You can go to sleep
Give your cares to me
Rest your head in peace
You can close your eyes
I will keep the night
It’ll be alright
I’ve got this
I’ve got this
A few weeks after completing the song I told this story at a Friday night session of a healing weekend conference where I was providing the music. Then I played the song. When I got to the end of the bridge instead of singing the lyric as I had written it –The sun will come again – I sang The sun will rise again. I immediately caught the significance of this mistake and the double entendre and layer of meaning that it added. (For the recording on Celebration Table I sang it with the ‘mistake.’)
Anyway, when I finished playing the song Christian therapist Vince Didato – one of the conference leaders – stood up and asked for a show of hands from all those who were having difficulty sleeping. Over thirty people raised their hands. With that he asked me to play the chorus again and said a prayer that everyone would get a good night’s rest in preparation for the remainder of the weekend.
I’d almost not played the song because it is essentially a duet – as the different sections of the song are being sung from two completely different perspectives – the one is who is having trouble sleeping – and God. But for some reason it seemed to work. And so I recorded it on Celebration Table just the way I played it at the conference.
Adults need lullabies too. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping – or know someone who has – I hope this reminder of God’s steadfast presence will bring comfort.
Click here to listen to I’ve Got This and other songs from the Celebration Table project.