Published 2/24/2009

Paul's Epistle...
"God Already Knew"

As I've said many times over the years, I love hearing the stories behind songs. One song that especially touched me recently was "God Already Knew," as recorded by the Hoppers on their "The Ride" CD.

The song was written by Todd Forman, who, for more than thirteen years, has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Versailles, Missouri. He graciously sent me the following account of that powerful song's origin and also the impact it has had on his own life.

- Paul

Five years ago my wife and I faced the single worst day of our married lives. Our fears were confirmed when a doctor explained that our son who was only eighteen months old had cerebral palsy.

Our first reaction was shock and we managed to make our way to our vehicle where we met tears and many unanswered questions. Being a pastor, I have shared words of hope with many people when they faced their greatest trial, but this was different. This was not just Kim and I that had a problem, it was our little boy.

Later that evening when I arrived home from midweek services, Kim met me at the door and explained that the Lord had spoken to her that very night and these are the things He spoke to her: "I knew Joel had cerebral palsy before you did. I love Joel more than you ever could. Simply trust My heart."

Those words provided great comfort to know that the biggest shock of our lives did not puzzle the Lord at all.

For the next several days I began to pen a thought that was overwhelming to me. I wrote the words of "God Already Knew" over the course of a week or more. Here are the original lyrics to my song...

(v. 1)
Before the light of day ever touched the sky,
God already knew he would bring a sunrise,
God already knew.
Before the children of Israel faced the enemy
God already knew he would part the Red Sea,
God already knew.

Trust the heart of a Savior who loves me when you don't know what to do.
On the day you face life's biggest trial
Know that God already knew. God already knew.

(v. 2)
Before the son of God ever healed the lame
God already knew he would walk again,
God already knew.
Before my Savior ever died on Calvary,
God already knew He would die just for me
God already knew

(v. 3)
There's coming a day when you just won't see why
you face the attack of the enemy
remember all of these things God already knew.
We grow through the trials we face along the way
when we walk by faith trusting God each day,
God already knew.

Years passed with me singing the song at concerts in a small quartet I was a part of. We sang it at funerals and various worship experiences, and nearly every time the song was sung, someone would come and share how the message of that song spoke to them.

There was a bigger plan in the song than I ever realized, but God did! Every year I emcee an annual gospel sing at the Lake of the Ozarks, which is near my home. One night after a concert I shared some heartfelt concerns that I was having with the issue of trusting God. I had learned to admire Rodney Griffen as a great Christian man. He shared some advice from the Word of God, as well as some good advice. Even though I had written a song, trusting God is a privilege that is tested by our human spirit continually. Having spoken to Rodney that night, I drummed up enough courage to share the song "God Already Knew" with Rodney and asked him for an honest critique.

I didn't hear back from him until another concert several months later. When I asked, he said, "That was a good song, but there was something I didn't like about it." OUCH! That's like someone saying, "you have a very nice baby, but it is kind of ugly!' He asked me to recite the lyric for him and he said, I'll publish the song, because the lyric is very good and it is an original thought.

Over the next few days we shared ideas about the song, and I asked him to help me co-write the song. For several months there were messages on my cell phone and my home phone that were saved, because they had Rodney Griffen singing on them! Wow! Like many other songs that I had written over the years, the song was passed on by some of the very best groups in Gospel music and then we learned that the Hoppers decided to record it. What an honor to hear them sing my favorite song in the world!

So, here is the message I share today. God loves you so much that He allows you to pass through difficult times, so that you can learn how to trust Him more. Whenever we face trials, He is always there and He is never surprised.

Todd Forman

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