I was sitting in church Sunday, eyes staring up to the screen with words displayed to the Hymn, “What a Friend I have in Jesus”. I thought about the truths that are so vividly displayed in this simple song. Truths that are the bones of my faith, and the foundations of my hope; the fact that Jesus is my friend. He intercedes for me, he seeks me out, his pursuit is incessant, never giving up.
As Christians we can make things so complicated and christianity so intimidating. I hate that. Seriously, it grieves me when a new believer says to me, “I never believed in God because I thought I had to be perfect”. I am here to tell you that I screw up daily, hourly, “minutely”… but I have this friend, and he doesn’t care. His only desire is me… and for you!
As I listened to the words on Sunday and considered them, I wanted to write them out in the words my heart sang them. I was talking to my husband about rewriting the hymn and his response was …“So you’re trying to write the Message Version of the hymn?”… Well, sorta. More like the “Heather Version”… how the hymn is applied to my life, how my brain process the words to my heart…
Here it is.
A Hymn revisited.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
I have a friend who I can tell anything; every offense, every secret, every hurt; and He listens.
Not only does He give attention to the heart within me that aches, but I hand him my pain and he exchanges it for comfort and peace.
Always; Everyday; I carry my misery instead of surrendering it to my Maker. Words begin, through sweet conversation and raw dialog, face dripping with tears, he hears me. Agony stacked upon me, pressures increasing by the minute, still I hold on with tight grip and white knuckles, forfeiting the comfort that He so lovingly offers me.
Trials are promised, temptations unescapable, troubles surround me; yet I WILL stand, I will confidently take it to Him and lay it at his feet, as an offering, as a sacrifice; acknowledging I cannot do it without HIM, my friend.
And when he lifts it from my shoulders he smiles and says to me, “I know you, I know your wounds, I know your distress, I see your tired eyes, I see your limp body. MY purpose is for YOU.”
I look up at him and see my safe refuge; Suddenly I am free from the wars of my mind and the ripping of my heart, to Him I run. I hold tightly to his neck and know I am protected, I am at peace, I am free. He will never leave me.
I place my trust upon his lap and know that I walk hand in hand with a Savior who loves me, a Savior who cares. Amity is found, and must not be forgotten. Heart burdened, I reach up and grab his hand in the morning for experience tells me that my day is promised to be rough.
But in hope I rejoice because days are coming that tears will be extinct and bodies are new, griefs forgotten and sorrows vanished, for those days I will live in the presence of my Savior, my friend, and MY purpose will be for HIM.
Thanks for reading Friends.
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O 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 Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.