When Christian singer Kari Jobe and others wrote “The Blessing,” they didn’t realize the huge impact it would have.
Posted in , Oct 29, 2020
Since releasing her debut album in 2009, Christian singer and songwriter Kari Jobe has sold more than 1.4 million albums, been nominated for a Grammy Award and brought home multiple Dove awards. She has more than one billion career streams. Originally from Texas, Jobe now lives in Nashville, and tours the country with her husband, fellow Christian Music singer Cody Carnes, and their two young sons.
Jobe was getting ready to release a new album when the coronavirus pandemic hit the country and delayed those plans. But in early March, the couple, together with the band Elevation Worship, did manage to release a song, “The Blessing,” which quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts. Says Jobe: “For this song to be an anthem in this season, keeping people connected and unified... I’ve been very moved.”
When did you decide to become a worship singer?
I grew up in a Christian home. My parents were in ministry and I spent so much of my time at church. It was all I knew and I loved it—I loved worship and music. When I was 10 years old, I was sitting in the back of my parent’s van and a song I loved came on; I had this revelation that people can use music to say things to God. That a song can be a prayer. I remember whispering to God that one day I wanted to write music that helped people pray.
Years later, when I was preparing to go off to college, I remembered that powerful moment and that prayer. I decided to pursue songwriting and worship. Now, I’ve been doing it for over 20 years.
You wrote “The Blessing” with your husband and members of the Elevation Worship Band. What inspired you?
We [Cody Carnes, Steven Furtick, Chris Brown, and myself] wrote the song in late February 2020. For us, this song came from the things we’d heard all our lives in the church, specifically a section of [The Book of] Numbers 6, which says “The Lord bless you and keep you...” This is an age-old blessing from God over the people. This song came out of our desire to write about this passage.
As we wrote the first verse, the bridge just started to happen, and we wrote about some of God’s blessings. And the truths we said just became lyrics. Sometimes, I almost felt like we didn’t write it. I felt like we were just a part of it [being written].
This divinely inspired song also had some divine timing as well, didn’t it?
We felt this song was special and that we needed to get it out quickly, but we didn’t understand why. It’s hard to get something like this out fast, but we worked hard and released the song on March 6th on YouTube. The following Friday, the pandemic [shutdown] hit America. Then we understood why we felt so compelled to get it out.
And now at the end of October that YouTube video has more than 32 million views! What a reception!
Oh man, it’s been so wild! Just the beauty of people sharing it and talking about it. People have even been redoing it in other countries, like the U.K., India, and South Africa. It’s been very sweet and honoring.
What kind of impact have you seen the song make?
One memory really stands out. During the early days of Covid, I went on a Dallas radio station that had a connection with a local hospital. They played the song for the people over the hospital intercom while we stood outside praying. We lifted our hands and asked God to bless the people inside. And the people inside—patients and workers— stood in the windows and shined flashlights out to let us know they were there and listening. It was a very tangible moment of people connecting during that time.
Has this song personally comforted you during the pandemic? Has it impacted your faith?
Absolutely. In my toughest moments during this, when I’m tired or sad or anxious, I’ve whispered the words to myself. I’ve used it as a prayer. I’ve sung it while rocking my baby son to sleep. Even when I don’t feel it, this song has reminded me that God is there for me.
As a mom to two young children, I sometimes don’t feel very aware of what’s happening in the world, but I’m seeing it so much more now. When I turn on my social media or look at my phone, I’m seeing other people’s stories. It has been a gift to help me get outside of my own head and learn what other people are going through. We are all in this together and it’s going to be alright.
What has this song taught you about the concept of blessings, particularly in a Covid world?
I’m learning that declaring blessings over ourselves doesn't always have a quick return. It’s sowing seeds in our spirit and we must trust and believe in faith. And only then will we begin to see what happens. Blessings are a spiritual interaction with God.
It’s been a hard year for everyone. I think the hardest part has been having to trust God in the midst of so many unknowns. But He is still so present. Even when He’s giving grace for people to walk through seasons of loss or isolation. The blessings of God apply to us all.
What are the most compelling lines of this song to your personally?
There’s a line in the song that goes, “In your weeping, and rejoicing, He is for you.” This line applies to so many areas of my heart. It means that we have seasons of weeping or seasons of joy, but God is still with us. We wanted to write a song around all the blessings we believed and prayed over ourselves. We just didn’t know that we’d need all those [blessings] all at once and all of a sudden [with Covid].
Are there any other songs on your recently released album, The Blessing, that have been especially impactful for you?
What’s interesting is none of the songs [on this album] were written during Covid. “The Blessing” was the final song for the album. We wrote some of these other songs about two years before. God went before me even in that aspect.
The song “Your Nature” talks about bringing life to a barren place, bringing life to the darkest spaces. I had no idea how applicable that would be now. Even just 7-8 months into... [Covid], you feel like this is going to be our lives now. How will we come back from this? That’s what this song is about.
Another song, “Rest”, focuses on sitting back and not striving to figure everything out. The chorus of that song says, “So I rest here with you.” I even give space in the song for the listener to rest. It makes you take a moment to rest and reflect on God’s goodness and realize that He’s got it.