Schultz shared on Mark Schultz-Come Alive
that he got the idea for this song from his wife. He explained: "She came home from work one day and was telling me about a missionary family who had come to the hospital anticipating the birth of their fourth child. It was Friday afternoon and they were so excited. As the baby boy was born, they were praising God for his goodness and having this huge celebratory moment. After the wife gave birth though, things changed as she wasn't doing real well, and she didn't get better on Saturday. On Sunday they got test results back and they found out that she had incurable cancer.
Her husband said, "Well we can't praise God on Friday and curse Him on Sunday. We got to praise Him because He's the same God on Friday that He is on Sunday.
This is the kind of faith that inspires me.
During this same time period, I had a friend, Payton Cram, who is from Michigan and she was battling cancer. I got to know her after she and her dad came to one of my concerts. Even though she was a teenager, it was unbelievable to me how she never blamed God for her cancer. She was so strong through it all because she knew God is who He said He was. I never did tell her about this song. I wish I would have.
But "He Is" celebrates her life and people who hold up their hands and praise God in the midst of whatever they are going through because they know He is who He says He is. He's the same today as He is tomorrow as He will be millions of years from now.
I remember sitting down at the piano at Good Sheppard, the North Carolina church where I write some of my songs. As I was thinking about Payton, I started playing and the first thing that come out of my mouth was, "He is, He was, He always will be."
I had a different verse on this song when I first started to play it, but something special happened when I was singing the chorus. Tears started running down my face and I knew it was something special.
He always will be
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
I remember playing the song for Brown Bannister who produced this track. He listened to it and said, "Man, it's ok, but something about it is not quite right." One afternoon he came into the chapel where I was writing and I said, "I think I've got it." And I played him this verse:
Father just let the world fade away,
let me feel Your presence in this place,
Lord I've never been so weary
How I need to know You're near me
Father let the world just fade away.
'Till I'm on my knees,
'Till my heart can sing
And then I started singing the chorus and Brown had his hands up in the air through the whole rest of the song. With tears in his eyes, he said, "That is not a good song, that's a gift to the church, that song."
And so from the family who gave birth and then found out the wife had cancer to Payton Cram who is with Christ now in heaven - to those who put their value in the timeless treasures - this song is dedicated to them."