My father lived for three weeks...and my world was forever changed. As children we expect our parents to die...I just didn't know it would hurt this much. Today I'm sharing with you the words to a favorite family hymn, but first I want to give some background as to why I love this song.
My father was raised in Germany and when he and his family came back to the United States after the war they moved to a town in upstate NY where my Uncle Fred became saved and then my grandmother and then my father.
But not my grandfather.
My father was so moved by his own salvation that he decided to go into the ministry and went away to Central Bible College in Springfield, MO to earn his degree in ministry. While my father was home on summer break one year, a small local church was in need of a pastor.
My father became their pastor for the summer.
My grandmother and uncle would often go to this church to hear my father preach. I'm not sure if my grandfather went along with them. BUT...I do know that on my father's last Sunday at this church my grandfather went to hear his son preach.
My father tells the story that his father was in the sanctuary, sitting in the back and while my father gave the invitation for those who desired salvation to come forward no one came. He then asked if they could please sing the hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." As this song was being sung, my grandfather went forward and accepted the Lord as His Saviour.
I guess just hearing the words of how the Lord wants to be not only our Saviour, but also our friend made my grandfather realize that he needed the Lord. I've heard my father tell this story many times from the pulpit and it would move people in the congregation to also give their lives over to Jesus. This song has a special place in my life and has meant the world to me during this past year...
What a Friend We Have in Jesus
What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms He'll take and shield thee,
thou wilt find a solace there.