Skip to content

Nothing Is Wasted, the Remix

February 12, 2013


(Originally posted in the Rabbit Room. Join the conversation here:

When Centricity (my record label) is considering which song should be the next single to promote to radio, they will do “pre-testing”, which means they hire a service who plays a portion of the song (sometimes only 8 to 16 seconds of it) for the target demographic of radio listeners. If it scores poorly, it’s not a single. If it scores well, then that becomes part of the case they’ll build when talking with radio about the song.

If you’re anything like me, this whole business of pre-testing 8 to 16 seconds of a song is . . . discouraging. What happened to listening to a song? And what happened to the romantic image of DJs who played music because they believed in it? Well, that still happens, too. And while it’s tempting to feel “pre-testing” lacks soul and conviction . . . well, I guess I just don’t want to give any more energy to judging it (or anything else for that matter).

I bring it up, though, to highlight one of the reasons I’m so grateful for my label, Centricity Music. As they wondered about what the next single would be, pre-testing revealed a clear front-runner. However, as we talked about it (and please understand what a remarkable thing it is that I get to be a part of the conversation!), their conviction was that, though it wasn’t the obvious choice, “Nothing Is Wasted” is the song they think people need to hear most. I’m beyond grateful for their belief and willingness to go with their heart on this rather than the numbers.

We recorded two versions of the song—the album version and then the solo piano alternate version for the Special Edition—but neither were deemed radio ready, so a remix was proposed. I get a little nervous about that kind of thing because it’s often the best way to ruin a perfectly good song. But when they decided to hire Ben Shive (producer of Andrew Peterson’s last four records), I got excited.

Ben worked hard to preserve the heart of the song while also reshaping the track to help it feel like the kind of song you might hear on the radio right now. Lauren Daigle, an artist in development at Centricity, lent her amazing voice for some beautiful harmonies. Ben also added cello and hammered dulcimer. He also took the two pre-existing versions and combined them, so that the song has the original bridge and final chorus that I wrote for it.

I’m nothing but grateful: that Centricity went with their heart and picked this song, that Ben remixed it, and that early response from radio has been really positive. But more than anything I’m grateful that of all the things I could be talking about at this time in my life, I get to talk about the goodness of God, the way that he works all things—all things—together for the good of those who love him. Pain, loss, even failure . . . these things don’t get to have the last say over our lives. God has the final word, and his word over our lives is love.

I hope you like the song, thanks for listening.

Lyric video:

[The new mix of “Nothing Is Wasted” will be available soon in the iTunes store ]

Nothing Is Wasted
Jason Gray/Jason Ingram/Doug McKelvey

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our redeemer
Nothing is wasted

When hope is more than you can bear
And it’s too hard to believe it could be true
And your strength fails you half way there
You can lean on me and I’ll believe for you
Give it time, you will believe it too

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
Sometimes we are waiting
In the sorrow we have tasted
But joy will replace it
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our redeemer
Nothing is wasted

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2013 1:30 pm

    Jason THIS track is one of my favorite songs on the entire album. Don’t get me wrong I fell in love with the entire album on my way to play a show one Sunday morning that was a couple hours away from my home. I remember it was raining and just a cruddy day and Nothing Is Wasted came on and let’s just say I was a wreck by the time I hit the stage. I had already had revival in my car and then I got to let that bleed out when I began to play. My father in law has always said that nothing is wasted and on that morning this song hit me square between the eyes. This song represents a promise and is a true reminder that Nothing is Wasted!

  2. odditblue permalink
    February 12, 2013 1:40 pm

    Thank you for this song. The words have given me hope that has helped me cope with so much lately. To know that all we do is not for nothing, even when it seems that way… To know every tear is not in vain… To believe that all things are actually for a reason we cannot yet understand… This gives me the hope and strength to carry on. It helps me to accept the loss and still believe there is hope beyond my hopelessness. Beyond the reaches of my understanding and what I can see, there my prayers are not in vain, but answered in a way I don’t yet grasp as being wonderful. I take heart in your song. Thank you.

  3. February 18, 2013 12:51 pm

    I happened upon this song this morning after purchasing “Remind Me Who I Am” on iTunes. It ministered to my heart in such an unexpected way. What a beautiful reminder that He uses everything for His Glory and I get to be a part of that story…

  4. Joy permalink
    March 22, 2013 6:22 pm

    I really appreciate this song as a military wife. I often struggle with the thought that all the time I have to be separated from my husband due to deployments is a waste for our marriage, but from God’s perspective it isn’t. This song reminds me to be thankful for what God is doing in my husband and my hearts in our times of separations, even though they seem to be too long or too hard to go through at times. God uses both of us uniquely for ministry in special ways to touch people we couldn’t while together, so praise Him! Just to add, I have to fight back the tears EVERY time I hear this song on K-LOVE. Thank you so much for your ministry of singing Truth that points us back to Jesus and His awesome purposes and plans for us!!!

  5. June 6, 2016 11:33 am

    Just found your blog. Just want you to know you are (and have been) in my prayers. Keep God’s love close, in your heart, and sharing it always. It makes all the difference in our lives and in this world.


  1. Music! Storytelling! … faith… | Roses in the Rubble

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: