God of Wonders

Album: Offerings II: All I Have to Give (2003)

Songfacts®:

  • A popular worship song sung in Christian churches all over the world, this was written by Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd, who are members of the Christian Rock group The Choir. It was written for the City on a Hill worship project, and first appeared on the 2000 album City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise performed by Mac Powell with Cliff and Danielle Young from the band Caedmon's Call. Many artists have recorded the song, including John Tesh, Rebecca St. James and Paul Baloche.
  • Steve Hindalong, who is The Choir's drummer and primary songwriter, met guitarist Marc Byrd when he produced the first two albums for Byrd's band Common Children in 1996 and 1997. In our interview with Steve Hindalong, he explained how this song came together: "I had a black Guild guitar that Marc used to borrow fairly often. (It's the one I referenced in 'Legend of Old Man Byrd.' I gave it to him in 2000 for his 30th Birthday.) Anyway, he took it on a lone writing retreat to a cabin somewhere in Arkansas where he professes to have had a spiritual epiphany. There was something profoundly inspired about several songs he wrote on that sojourn. One of them was what would become 'God of Wonders.' He played me the chord progression, singing a few lyrics like, 'Halleluiah to the Lord of heaven and earth…' Immediately I felt soul-stirred. I sensed that it called for loftier language than we are typically inclined to use. Marc and I both tend to write very personal, introspective lyrics. But I felt like this one needed to be more transcendent – grander than us. We both feel thankful for its inspiration, and humbled to have offered it.
    It's beyond our comprehension really – this notion that the Creator, not just of our world, not just of the Milky Way, but of ALL the galaxies in the universe – wants to share an intimate relationship with each of his children. When I call His name in the night my savior will recognize my voice! 'Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart' (Psalm 37:4). 'The Clouds are the dust of His feet' (Nahum 1:3). 'God of Wonders' is a celebration of unfathomable divine truth and love." (read more in our interview with Steve Hindalong)
  • Tom Howard, who did arrangements and played piano on many popular albums, arranged the strings on this song. Howard died in 2010 when he had a heart attack while hiking. The Choir's song "A Friend So Kind" is about him.
  • Speaking to us in a 2012 interview, Mac Powell recalled his initial reluctance to contribute a vocal on the original City On A Hill recording of the song. "You know what's funny is I'm a big The Choir fan, which was Steve's band, they're from California," he said. "And I don't want to say I grew up with them, but I listened to them in my college years. They were the first alternative rock Christian band I'd ever heard. And so when I got a call from Steve to be part of this record, I couldn't say no, because I love Steve and his music and his songs. I'd written a song I did for the record City On A Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise and he said, 'I like it, but I really would love to hear you sing on this song,' and he sent me 'God of Wonders.' I thought, Well, that's all right. (Laughs) I thought, This song is just okay. I dig it all right. It's a good song."

    "I had no idea how great a song it was," Powell continued. "And that goes to show, you just never know. And now of course, with 20/20 hindsight, I see the beauty in the song, but at the time I didn't realize it. So I basically was told by my manager, Hey, when you go in to sing the song for Third Day that you write, they're going to want you to sing this other song, don't do it. Because we don't need your voice on more songs. I said, Okay. So I went in and we were in the studio. They came to Atlanta, we recorded. And Steve said, 'Hey, before you leave, can I get you to sing a verse on this song?' And I said, 'Sure.' Because I could not say no to Steve. And it ended up being a good thing for everybody."

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