What a Friend...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A year ago today, while my mother was preparing dinner in their new house, my father got up off the couch to use the bathroom. Instead of opening the bathroom door, he opened the basement door and went flying down the stairs...

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.
Amen!

41 comments :

  1. Lois, what a beautiful story. Thanks for posting the words to that beloved hymn. I enjoyed reading them all over again.

    Blessings,
    Mandy

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  2. Lois~

    What a precious memory of your father and grandfather and to know one day you all will be together agin is all the better! Love this song too!!

    Have a beautiful day!
    Hugs~T

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  3. I'm praying for you Lois. I know how hard anniversary's like this are.

    What a precious post! I've always loved this song and now I will think of your family's story of coming to Christ when I hear it.

    I am so glad for the comfort that it gives you.

    Hugs,
    Linda C

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  4. What a wonderful story!!! :)
    That was very special.
    "What a Friend We Have in Jesus"
    is one of my favorite hymns ever...
    our family has sung it to the
    dying, sick and well. It is so beautifully rich in content. Who would not want to hear those beloved
    words before they start their day or meet their maker?! Thank you for such a lovely, godly and inspiring post!!

    Love in Jesus,
    Miss Jen

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  5. Beautiful post and I love this hymn. My favorite line is "Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, what needless pain we bear,All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." How simple is this song and what it says. We have so much trouble taking it to the Lord and then when we finally do, we forget to leave it with him and we want to keep bringing it back with us.

    Have a glorious day,
    AMY

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  6. Beautiful story and wonderful that it is true! I have always loved that song, but then, there are very few hymns I don't love!
    Thanks for visiting!!

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  7. What a lovely post and tribute to your father and grandfather. Thank you so much for sharing it. Hope you have a good day.
    Karen

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  8. What a beautiful tribute to your father. My son gave me a music box for Mother's Day that plays that hymn and I treasure it. Thank you for visiting my site. I would love to have you visit again. Blessings, Loretta

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  9. What a beautiful Post! Heartfelt and sincere...

    My father was a Nazarene Pastor for many years...all my life in fact. Although he is still living he is very ill with state 3 Alzheimer's...devastating to watch him slowly leave us every single day.

    What gives me strength to press onward is the faith he instilled within me as a child in a healing, loving merciful God. His love for God was so inspiring! His favorite hymn was What a Friend... I couldn't help but tear up as I re-read the words penned so many years ago. So fresh and still so new...

    May you find peace today knowing that your father is with the Most High! Blessings to you as you honor his life by rememembing his love for both you and his Lord.

    Thank you, too, for visiting! Today YOU blessed me!

    xoRebecca

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  10. Dear Lois, After the loss of a child I think the most difficult thing in the world is to lose a spouse or a parent. I lost both of my parents the same year three weeks apart. It was unexpected. I felt like an orphan and it took a long time for me to come to terms with it. I do feel your pain. I'm so sorry. I will keep you in my prayers. Your song was so inspiring and I can see why you love it so much. What a beautiful story you have told. Your father sounds like he was such a special man.

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  11. Such a beautiful post & a wonderful tribute to yoru father and to Jesus! It touched me!

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  12. Such a beautiful story. Wow. I am sorry for your loss. I hope your memories comfort you.

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  13. This is a beautiful post. I just love that hymn.
    That was a great tribute to your father. You are in my prayers.
    God bless.

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  14. It is one of my favorites too....

    I lived right outside of Springfield Mo most of my life... I know where your Father attended his schooling although it was changes some I am sure...

    I am sorry for your loss, I have not experienced the pain of losing a parent, but I know it has got to be so rough... wither someone is close to their parent or not... My husband lost his Dad a few years back... It is hard!

    I also just wanted to stop by and let you know I have a couple of awards for you on my blog....

    Hugs and All My Best!!!

    Just A Gal...

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  15. All your posts about your beloved father are so full of love and caring Lois. He sounds like an inspirational man and would be so proud of the incredible job you do on your blog helping to spread the Word and deepen our understanding of the Lord. Prayers and thoughts are coming to you, today especially.

    Fiona x

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  16. what a bitter-sweet story to share, so sorry to hear about your dad, my hubbys grandfather passed about 5 yearts ago from falling down his basement stairs carrying a sack of potatoes, he too live about three more weeks.

    I love this hymn and the story behind it, your dad sounds like an amazing man.

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  17. I am so sorry for your loss. My dad passed away a year ago this May 25th.
    You are so fortunate to know that your sweet dad and your family will all be together again in heaven. What a legacy your dad knit in your family!!
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

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  18. I have enjoyed my first visit here. Loved the photo below of the soldiers praying!

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  19. Love this post. Such a sweet story and I know your dad was so grateful.

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  20. My heart feels tender just reading this post. Thanks so much for letting us into your heart.
    You are quite the girl!

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  21. Beautiful post and beautiful memories...blessings and prayers...

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  22. The words to that song are just hard to beat! I love that hymn too and it's so true!

    I'm so sorry you don't have your grandfather here with you, but that's a precious story and you know for sure that you'll see him again one day!

    Tammy

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  23. What a beautiful story. I love that your father led your grandfather to accept Christ.

    Cynthia

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  24. I love this glimpse into your family's history. What a beautiful tribute! That's one of my favorite hymns, too.

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  25. Lois,
    Thank you dear lady for sharing this with us! How inspiring, what a blessing! I'm sooo thankful your grandfather accepted Christ's salvation. Your daddy sounds like he was a wonderful man- God bless you and yours and may your hearts find comfort and strength when you're sad. I too am so thankful for my friend Jesus! Love the song. Thank you again!

    Love,
    Liesa

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  26. THANK YOU. We serve a living savior!

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  27. Oh my goodness...thank you for sharing such a precious piece of your life with us. I love that song too! I can see why it is so special to you even more now.
    ps...we did paint the shutters too~ Have a great day!

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  28. Touching feel good story which we all need. Thanks for sharing. I hope your husband is feeling better.
    Joyce

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  29. Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?

    I love this song, and the thought that it does not matter how many times we share our sorrows or joy he is always there to listen.

    Thank you for sharing this very personal story with us and letting us see how God worked in your families life.

    I am lifting you in prayer.

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  30. Lois this is so awesome, I am truly blessed ,For a son to have the privilege of leading one of their parents to the Lord, has to be the greatest thing in the world.
    I love this hymn one of my favorites and I have a memory with it too.

    I feel the pain of losing a father with you, I truly feel that part of our healing comes from being able to talk and share as you have today.I am truly blessed.
    Sue

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  31. What very nice memories, loved reading about your father. I am a daddy's girl too and my pop can do no wrong in my eyes, been that way my whole life. I love the song also, it is one of my favories too. Hope your loving memories of your dad will bring you comfort and joy and I am so sorry you have to endure this. God bless,
    Shanda

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  32. Hello there again, I signed up again to your following and it says I am following publicly so I don't understand why I am not showing up. Maybe you canb check agaon and let me know.

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  33. I am so sorry that you are missing your dad. As I read your story I got a little emotional. You see my dad is in very poor health, and because of sorted reasons (long story) refuses to speak to my brother and I. Your post reminds me how precious our time is. Some day... I will be writing a post about the passing of my father. I hope that it will be full of the same love that yours is.
    Thank you!
    ~Liz

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  34. Lois,

    This is such an uplifting song. I enjoy the older-traditional songs so much. They seem to have so much meaning. Wow, what a friend we have in Jesus. Where would we be if we didn't have him - I couldnt make it another step. He guides me, leads me, protects me, loves me and forgives me! What a FRIEND!

    Blessings,
    Gigi

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  35. Lois,
    What a wonderful man your father was! You must feel so blessed. What a lovely tribute to him! I am so sorry for your loss - it never gets easier I know! It must be a comfort to you that BOTH of your Fathers will be waiting for you on the other side of heavens doors one day. I know that that is what helped me when I lost my mom 4 short years ago.

    It is wonderful that your dad was able to help bring your grandpa to the Lord. How happy that must have made him knowing that his dad would know His Savior!

    Beautiful story - thank you for sharing.
    Take care of yourself today! I know this is a hard day for you.
    Blessings to you,
    Kymber

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  36. Lois, I am so touched that you and your sisters at church prayed for Bob. Truly touched, thank you so much. God is hearing this prayer.

    Thank you, sister,

    Nicole

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  37. Hi Sunshine!! I have missed visiting the last few days, too!!

    What a touching story to share, and I, too love this hymn.

    Losing a parent is truly one of the most difficult times of life, and I know you miss him terribly. How wonderful that his legacy lives on in you and your family, and he knew it before he departed earth!! I don't think anything is more pleasing to a parent than to know that their children love the Lord.

    I am praying that God will comfort you, and you will feel Him close to you at those times when you're missing your wonderful Dad the most.

    Thank you for sharing him with us. What a joy!

    Love 'n hugs, sweetie,
    Becky

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  38. I love that song too. I can't imagine life without my dad, that must be very difficult. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Skip on over to my blog, I left you a present. :-)

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  39. I saw that you were having a bad day, just wanted to stop by and give ya a gentle hug! Hope tomorrow is better for ya!

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  40. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your father's death. That is so sad. It is such a beautiful story too though that he was able to preach to your grandfather and he was saved. It is so neat how the Lord moves. It is so wonderful that you know you will one day be reunited with them both.

    Big hugs for you today!
    Sharon

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  41. This is a very touching story. On the 15th it will be three years that my dad passed away. He became a Christian 3 weeks prior. I have had a post drafted and will post it then.

    Thank you for sharing and for posting the beutiful hymn.

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