TobyMac Stopped Reading the Bible After Son Died, but God Drew Him Back: 'He Remains Faithful'

  • Michael Foust Crosswalk Headlines Contributor
  • Updated Mar 22, 2023
TobyMac Stopped Reading the Bible After Son Died, but God Drew Him Back: 'He Remains Faithful'

Grammy-winning Christian artist TobyMac told concertgoers recently that the 2019 death of his son Truett briefly led him to stop reading his Bible.

The seven-time Grammy winner said he had been reading through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, when "tragedy struck our household." Truett McKeehan died in 2019 at age 21. Many of TobyMac's songs on his newest album, Life After Death, were inspired by that tragedy.

"I got about halfway through the Old Testament" before his son died. "... And I didn't really have the heart to keep reading, so I put it down," TobyMac said in Moline, Ill., on his Hits Deep Tour. He told concertgoers in Estero, Fla., that he skipped several mornings of reading Scripture.

TobyMac said he felt God prompting him to continue. He also said he learned several lessons about the Christian faith.

"I looked up at God, and I told Him, 'I'm going to give You a chance.' That's pretty bold to say to the God of all creation, you know what I'm saying? But I said that," TobyMac said in Moline. "And I kept reading. And I learned something about relationship. You see, you can't have a relationship with anyone if you're not talking to them and they're not talking to you. You can't have a relationship if you're not listening to them, and they're not listening to you."

God's Word, he added, is "how He talks to us."

"And the way we talk to Him is by prayer. So I kept going. And there's something beautiful that I learned that comes with having a relationship with God. You see, He makes us these promises. And the promise that I've been hanging on [to] for the last few years is this: God promised that if we have a relationship with Him, that He will never leave us or forsake us. … He might not change what happened. He might not make everything different. But He doesn't go away.

TobyMac added, "No matter how much pain you're in tonight … if you have a relationship with God, He's there. He won't go away. He remains faithful."

TobyMac also revealed that his hit song Cornerstone was inspired by the death of his son. Featuring Zach Williams, the tune has spent 26 weeks on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart.

"This song came to life in a very hard place," he said. "I was standing in a field in front of a bunch of people with my family at my firstborn's funeral service. And I looked at my family, and I said, listen, 'We have to rebuild. We have no choice.' Our hearts are shattered in a thousand pieces. Our lives will change forever. And because we have to rebuild, we're going to take this chance. We will not build on the promises of this world. We will not build on financial security. We will not build on accomplishments. We will not build on being comfortable. We will not build on religion. We will not build on being victims. We will not get by on prescription drugs or alcohol. As for me and my house, we will build on the Rock. We will build on the promises of God. We will build on the Cornerstone."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jason Kempin/Staff

Video courtesy: ©Michael Foust

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.