One of the most popular and well-known worship songs of all time, “God Will Make a Way” has a surprisingly dark and tragic, though ultimately inspirational, background.
According to legendary worship leader and singer-songwriter Don Moen, who wrote the song “God Will Make a Way,” it was born originally from tragedy.
“I got a call from my mother-in-law late one night, and she told me that my wife’s sister and her husband, Craig and Susan Phelps, had been involved in a tragic car accident while taking the kids on a ski trip,” the songwriter explained. “All four of their children were thrown out of their vehicle, and the oldest, a 9-year-old boy was killed instantly. The other three were seriously injured.”
Moen said he had no idea how to handle such tragic news or what to say to convey his immense longing to make things better.
“It was life-altering; I didn’t know what to say to them,” Moen continued. “Craig was a Bible teacher at his church, and they were both full of faith. As I sat on the plane wondering what I would say to them, I began to read the book of Isaiah, and chapter 43, verse 19 stood out to me: ‘I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert’. Instantly, the Lord gave me a song to sing to them.”
Moen privately performed the recently written, never recorded song for his grieving in-laws once he arrived at the hospital. The song’s lyrics, which included lines like, “Oh, God will make a way/Where there seems to be no way/ He works in ways we cannot see/He will make a way for me” were especially comforting.
“It was a song written in desperation, but it brought a word of hope to them. When everything around you seems lost, God is working in ways you cannot see,” Moen added.
The song, which beginnings were marked and inspired by tragedy, went on to become an award-winning hallmark song. It has been shared millions of times all over the world. The story behind the song’s inspiration is told in Moen’s debut book “God Will Make a Way: Discovering His Hope in Your Story,” which was released on October 16th.
Moen says the message of the song is one all believers should remember.
“So often, people look at their lives and everything is going fine, then you lose your job, go through a divorce, lose a family member, or receive a devastating health diagnosis,” the songwriter added. “These things can rock your world and you think, ‘How am I going to find hope in my story?’ All they can see is hopelessness. I want people to know that God is with them in spite of loss and hopelessness. If you look close enough, you can see the hand of God in your life.”
Even when bad things happen in life, like the situations mentioned by Moen, a job loss, a divorce or even the death of a family member, God remains faithful. Moen explains that he wants everyone who reads his book to come away understanding this message of hope. He says, “I want readers to know that God isn’t finished with them. He is going to do something new and make a road in the wilderness.”
The story behind the song “God Will Make a Way” should be one of hope and perseverance for all who believe. No matter what life is throwing at them at the present time, God can and will make a way through the wilderness and to the other side. Consequently, there is a reason to hope, to remain faithful to God and to continue trusting in His grace and provision.
~ 1776 Christian