What a Friend

Many churches today have adopted the more contemporary music.  Songs of praise and worship can be inspiring and uplifting.  However there is just something about the classic hymns that draw us back to our roots and bring us comfort.  Songs like Amazing Grace, Leaning On The Everlasting Arms, How Great Thou Art, and Old Rugged Cross are full of message and meaning that transcends the generations.  My Mother was stricken with Alzheimer’s and in the later days of her life could barely remember who I was; but she never forgot the words to those wonderful old hymns.  As we would stand side by side in church, her sweet mellow voice sang confidently and strong, and one could almost forget the reality of her disease.  As she sang, her mind was with Jesus, and was, at least in that moment, strong and whole. 

Recently, I woke up in the middle of the night with a worried mind.  As I lay there tossing and turning,   I began to think about what a blessing it is to have friends to listen when you have problems.  I have some dear and wonderful friends, but no matter how great they are or how loveable I am, they probably would not appreciate a phone call at 2:00 am.  And then, there in the darkness I heard Mother’s sweet voice: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief’s to bear, what a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.”  It was such a comfort to be reminded that I do have a friend I could call on in those lonely hours.  That the One who neither slumbers or sleeps is only a whisper away.  I have heard the words from the song “what a friend” most of my life.  However that’s pretty much all they were – words.  As I have grown in my walk with God, I have become more and more aware of the truth of these words.  Jesus is not just some character in a book we learned about in Sunday school.  He is not just some historical figure who walked on this earth and then died some 2,000 years ago.  He lives.  He is as alive today as He was then.  When you know Him, you can feel His presence and hear His voice. 

Do you need a friend today? Are you carrying a heavy burden?  Take it to Jesus. 

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?  Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer”. 

Listen, you will hear Him calling you –“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest”.  (Matthew 11:28).  He not only does not mind when you come to Him, He invites you to, He wants you to come. 

 Need a hug?  He’s waiting for you.  Any time day or night, His arms open wide. 

“In his arms he’ll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there”.  

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).  Jesus is there for you.  He will wrap you in His loving arms where you will find comfort, peace, and assurance.

Just want someone to talk to?  Whether you need to talk about something as trivial as a lost item or as serious as a lost loved one, Jesus listens.

“Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? “

He’s never too busy or preoccupied with other things.  When you talk to Jesus, He gives you His undivided attention.  Peter sums it up perfectly in 1 Peter 5:7 “God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him”.  (CEV) 

Do you feel as if you are all alone?  Even if everyone else turns away, Jesus will not.

“Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? “ 

You see, He knows what it means to be abandoned, He’s been there.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Matthew 27:46).  When someone has walked in your shoes, they share in your pain, they understand it.  Jesus understands.

We are blessed to have our friends for they truly are a gift from God.  It is a comfort to know we can pick up the phone and hear the voice of someone we can talk to on the other end.  However, there are times when even our closest and dearest friend can’t be there for us.  There are times when no matter how much she wants to, she just doesn’t understand.  And, there are the middle of the night times, when it’s just you and the silence.  You need to hear another voice but there is no one you can call.  Now you know – there is someone.  His name is Jesus and He’s waiting to hear from you.

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