Sometimes God uses the most difficult situations, the dark moments of our lives, to produce the most poignant, significant, and beautiful moments of ministry.
Charles F. Weigle is a good point-in-case of what I am talking about. He was an itinerant evangelist and songwriter. One day he returned home after preaching an evangelistic meeting and found a note from his wife. It simply read, “I’m leaving Charlie. I don’t want to live the life you are living. I want to go the other way – to the bright lights.” And to add insult to injury, she had taken their only daughter with her. That night Charlie Weigle wandered the streets alone, finally winding up at the end of the pier at Biscayne Bay, where he contemplated suicide. However, despite all that had happened to him, he vowed to live his life for Jesus.
Approximately eight months later he met his estranged wife in Los Angeles. She mocked him by telling him of the sins she had committed. Sadly, a couple of years later she lay on her death bed. Her daughter was by her side. Evidently, she was remembering the better life she had lived with Weigle. She turned to her daughter and said, “If you know where your father is, please ask him to pray for me, and see if God can forgive a sinner such as I.”
About five years later, Charles F. Weigle sat down at the piano thinking about all God had brought him through. The music and words began to flow and he pinned the following lyrics: Verse 1: “I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus, Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true; I would tell you how He changed my life completely, He did something that no other friend could do.” (Refrain) “No one ever cared for me like Jesus, There’s no other friend so kind as He; No one else could take the sin and darkness from me, O how much He cared for me.” Verse 2: “All my life was full of sin when Jesus found me, All my heart was full of misery and woe; Jesus placed His strong and loving arms about me, And He led me in the way I ought to go.” (Repeat Refrain) Verse 3: “Ev’ry day He comes to me with new assurance, More and more I understand His words of love; But I’ll never know just why He came to save me, Till some day I see His blessed face above.” (Repeat Refrain) God brought Charles F. Weigle through his dark moment and transformed it into a beautiful encouragement for fellow discouraged followers of Jesus! He can and will do the same for us as we go through our dark moments.
I recently preached how God had instructed the Children of Israel to camp in the most untenable place imaginable. They had the Red Sea before them, the wilderness on both sides, and Pharaoh’s army closing from behind. They were in a dark moment; they were “locked-in” by their circumstances. However, as I told that congregation, “Just because you are ‘locked-in’ by your circumstances, doesn’t mean that God is ‘locked-out!’” The Children of Israel would soon discover that nobody ever cared for them like God! Likewise, so should we be encouraged! Why? Because as the Children of God – no one ever cared for us like Jesus! He specializes in making a way where there is no way!