Dave Clark / Don Koch / Greg Long
Whenever I get the chance to talk to young songwriters, one of the things I tell them is how I write most of my lyrics backwards. It’s not that I’m encouraging them to do it as much as I want them to know why I do it. When I write backwards it helps me avoid changing the destination of the lyric. If the end is set, I know where I’m going from the opening line and take the most direct route to get there.
With that in mind, one of the things that stands out in my mind about the writing of this song is that it is one of only two songs I ever remember where I broke that rule. When we showed up at Don’s house that morning I had a first line and that was it. Pain - The gift nobody longs for - It was something I had heard a preacher say and it challenged my thinking enough that I wanted it chase it just to see where it went.
In those days Don and I wrote so much together we almost always knew what the other one was thinking. Even though we were blessed to get to write with a lot of artists during that season, there were only a handful that not only understood that chemistry but added to it. Greg Long was on that list.
Whenever the three of us got together there was an anticipation that something special was going to happen. Greg brought an incredible melodic sense yet also knew exactly what he wanted to say lyrically. As was our usual pattern, we wrote a verse and chorus, went to Las Palmas for lunch and came back and finished the second verse.
The song ended up being an honest reflection of an all too human struggle of trusting God but wishing He moved faster. The takeaway for me was the reminder that If I really want a peace beyond my own understanding, I have to be willing to relinquish my need to understand what God is doing and simply trust Him.
One side note is that a short time after this song was released by Greg Long, the World Trade Center towers were struck and a nation grieved. The statements that monitor radio airplay would reveal that this was one of the most requested songs of that season.