Can people truly change? Mel Trotter did. Trotter was born to a Christian mother and an alcoholic father. By age 19, he was drinking heavily himself as well as gambling. He met and married a young woman and she gave birth to a son. Trotter, however, wasn’t much of a husband or father. He lost job after job and spent many nights out on the streets in the gutter while his wife and baby went hungry. Sadly, the little baby died. In a climactic act of despicability, Trotter removed the shoes from his dead son’s corpse and pawned them for money to buy another drink. You talk about rock bottom!
After the death of the child, Trotter left his wife and ended up in Chicago where he soon found himself homeless and suicidal. During a blizzard, he sought refuge in the city’s Pacific Garden Mission. There he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and was marvelously transformed. He got a job, was reunited with his wife, and became active at the Mission. Ultimately, he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where he and a group of community leaders opened a new Mission. Hundreds of thousands of people would be won to Christ and have their lives restored through that Mission, and even today, more than a century after its founder’s death, Mel Trotter Ministries carries on the work of ministering to the needy and telling them about the transforming power of Jesus.
And now I’ve got two questions for you. Question #1: If you find yourself at rock bottom today, what will it take for you to wholeheartedly and unreservedly give your life to Jesus? My prayer is that you won’t have to sink as low as Mel Trotter did before you lay your stubbornness and pride in the dust and accept Christ as your Savior. And then question #2: Have you totally given up on the idea that a “Mel Trotter” in your life will ever change? If you have, perhaps you have given up prematurely. I’m not guaranteeing that the person will ever truly change, but I am guaranteeing that such a thing is possible through Jesus Christ. Think about that.