Last week, the DC Talk notable and one of Christian music’s most popular artists released his first single of 2021 titled “Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)” along with a brand new music video. The seven-time Grammy winner told Reel Faith’s DeWayne Hamby that after the sudden death of his eldest son Truett in October 2019, he did nothing for a few months.
When he was able to return to the studio his creativity was stuck in what he called “sad, teary-eyed ballad-y songs.” The tone can be heard in the single “21 Years,” which he released less than three months after Truett’s passing. TobyMac said he recalled calling out to God asking “What is going on? Is that all I’m going to be able to write? For the rest of my life?”
TobyMac’s new song was inspired by a verse in Psalms 98. In The Message translation, Psalm 98 says God “rolled up his sleeves. He set things right,” referring to God coming to our rescue. “God is rolling up his sleeves. Help is on the way,” TobyMac wrote on Instagram, “It’s like the promise of God…the God of all creation rolling up His sleeves on my behalf…our behalf. It felt like promise to me.”
The lyrics from ‘Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)” read, “Well, I seen my share o’ troubles But the Lord ain’t failed me yet So I’m holdin’ onto the promise, y’all That He’s rollin’ up His sleeves again.“
TobyMac explains that writing the song with and co-writer Micah Kuiper in December represented the first time he could express the sporadic feelings of hope he’d felt since Truett’s death “in an artistic, creative way.” It was the first time he could “scream hope from the mountaintop,” the musician explained.
This has been a season of reflection, TobyMac explained, which has provided more time with his wife and kids. Over the past year, TobyMac says he’s had more time than he has ever had due to his not touring or being in the studio as much. While the musician says he’s “grateful” for the time, the last two years have been rough for his family with the death of his son, the death of his sister, and the loss of touring incoming due to the pandemic.
TobyMac plans to continue spreading the gospel and “screaming hope” to everyone he comes in contact with. He and his Diverse City band are scheduled to start Drive-In Theater Tour in March after the completion of their current Hits Deep Tour.