Frey and McDonald wrote the tune in the latter's Anderson basement one stormy night when they set out to write a song about what Jesus meant to them. Frey explained its background in an interview with New Release Tuesday: "The background of the first verse comes from a real life experience I had as a kid. I loved aquariums and owned a goldfish and one day my parents were out and left me and my friend with a babysitter. I decided to play with my goldfish named Mortimer, and I accidentally killed it. My babysitter seemed to have a danger radar and sensed something went wrong and asked who murdered the fish? I lied and blamed my friend Joel and to my surprise he took the blame for me.
The next Sunday, I felt terribly guilty for blaming my friend, and I knew I had sinned. In church, I sat in the balcony and started sobbing uncontrollably for what I had done, and I told my mom I was sorry for hurting her and for hurting Jesus. She smiled and said, 'It's okay, Jesus loves you no matter what you've done.' So this song is about me and how I sometimes feel like the lowest of all, but I know that Jesus loves me anyway. It was there in that silly, little lie that I began to realize the power of grace. Faults and downfalls will occur, and the true measure of a man or a boy is what we do after those moments. Some tragedies occur and the reason is never known, but in the midst of all storms there is a place where we are safe, a place where we are truly loved, in the arms of Jesus Christ."