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Matthew West on The Story That Inspired His New Single ‘Wonderful Life’

Photo from Matthew West’s Instagram

Matthew West on The Story That Inspired His New Single ‘Wonderful Life’

By Movieguide® Staff

Over the past few years, Christian music artist Matthew West approached song-writing uniquely, highlighting God’s miraculous work in people.

West, 45, bases the songs on everyday people with real struggles, like a man named Jordan, who struggled with alcohol addiction but recovered through a Christian program.

“The heartbeat of what fuels my little three minute songs is the power of story, and I do that in the hopes that when people hear these songs inspired by people’s stories, they will maybe tap into the power of their own story and realize that they are not the source of that power, but when we allow God to shine through our stories, He’s the true author of all stories, and He can redeem even the messiest parts of our lives,” West told The Christian Post.

West’s most recent release is called “Wonderful Life,” and follows the story of Ron Janca, who died after a three-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Hospice had been called in to care for him in his final days, and he reached out of all people to me to tell me his story and to thank me for one of my songs called ‘Strong Enough’ that he asked his nurses to play every morning,” West recalled. “And I was so moved by that story that I wanted to meet him.

“His plan was not necessarily for there to be any time for me to encourage him, but the other way around,” the singer said of their video call. “In fact, he wanted to encourage me, and it just really meant a lot to me. … He was spurring me on, like cheering me on in my race. I just didn’t expect that and it really impacted me in a big way.”

West said that God used Ron’s encouragement in a special way and opened up about his battle with depression.

“Ron didn’t know that at that particular time, to be honest with you, I was pretty depressed. I was pretty discouraged,” he confessed. “Our tour buses were parked and I just felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, like so many people did … during the height of the pandemic. Ron had no way of knowing that and yet, he saw past his own battle with ALS and lifted me up in the middle of mine. That impacted me in a big way.”

The lyrics to “Wonderful Life” read: “Ron went home to Jesus / Got the call the other day / I sat and cried and thought about / The words I heard him say / I know there is a Heaven / Waitin’ for us after this / This life ain’t always wonderful / But this life ain’t all there is.”

West wants his songs to point people to the hope we have in Christ.

“All of our stories have broken chapters in them,” West said. “But the message of hope that we have in Christ is that they don’t have to stay broken.

“He really is the God who keeps His promises, when He promises never to leave us, never to forsake us; when He promises that He’s close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit, when He promises in Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God — these are not just empty words. These are promises and promises that He fulfills, day in and day out in our lives,” he continued.