It was 10 A.M. and a beautiful Monday morning in Orange, Texas - time for the women’s weekly home bible study to begin. Women were chatting loudly and giving each other a big hug.
At last, the worship leader was able to get everyone’s attention and started the meeting, leading one chorus after another. All across the room, ladies were singing and worshipping the Lord in unison.
And then, the leader stopped singing the modern day choruses, and began singing an old hymn of the church.
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!
All of a sudden, tears began flowing down my face as if a dam had broken inside of me. The lady sitting next to me handed me a tissue, then a second, then a third, as the tears kept rushing down my face uncontrollably. It had been years since I had heard this old hymn of the church, and I soon began to realize that I was having flashbacks of my life.
The first flashback took me back to the age of ten years of age when I learned to play my very first hymn on the piano. Yes, you probably guessed it - Key of F - What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
I literally could visualize myself sitting at my piano, ponytail swaying with the music, as I practiced that old hymn over and over again. I wanted to get it sounding good enough, so that I could play my first piano solo at the little Assembly of God church I attended.
I had no real concept of what the song actually meant; I just wanted to play the piano before the church, and I was also very excited to be playing something different from the classical music that I dreaded practicing each week.
The flashbacks continued as the beautiful voices in the room continued singing each verse in unison. Actually, I didn’t get past the first verse because, you see, I moved from being that little 10-year-old girl to a grown woman, encountering all over again situations and circumstances of my life that I had, in deed, taken to the Lord in prayer.
The flashbacks that spanned a good portion of my life ended when the song ended, but I was still drooling and wiping tears away from what I had just experienced in a 3-4 minute time span on the first verse. However----
· It was enough time to remind me of the faithfulness of God to answered prayer when I, had indeed, taken everything to Him in prayer.
· It was also a reminder to me that I needed a cleansing of a coldness that had settled in my heart recently. I was so grateful that all my sins and griefs he was now bearing once again, as I sat there silently confessing them to Him. How refreshing those tears felt as He gently cleansed me.
· It was a time when I reflected on the peace that I had forfeited at times when I didn’t take it to the Lord in prayer. Oh yes, there were many times that I had experienced needless pain.
As I made my way to my car to go home, I suddenly realized that this old hymn of the church had, shall we say, re-fashioned me inside this morning.
What about you? Why not take a moment in your day to listen to this old hymn of the church and use it as a tool to once again be reminded of What a Friend We Have in Jesus. After all, He calls us His friend.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15 NIV)
Song: What a friend we have in Jesus
Listen and enjoy!
GATHER HER || 11.09.17
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