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
I never really got nor paid attention to that song until today. Most of the time when I hear that song it’s in a movie at someone’s funeral, and I’m like, “how did THAT song get to be the song of choice for funerals??” I mean, I get it, but you know…I want something a little more happy at mine! But anyway, Pastor Crute sang that song today. He sang it really slow, and for the first time in life I heard all of the words and understood what they meant, and the song came alive for me! I was like, “OH!! What a FRIEND we have in Jesus!!!” Now, I know yall are like, “duh, Jessica,” but hey…I don’t care LOL. Let me break this song down for you, and then you’ll understand my revelation.
I know we sing songs about God being a friend, and you know…they are good songs. However, they’ve never moved me because now I realize that I never really understood what it meant to have authentic friendships. Now, honestly it took me a good two minutes to write that sentence because I had to stop and think. My whole life I’ve prided myself on being a good friend. You know how we say “he has marriage potential,” well, I say “Jessica has best friend potential!” I am loyal, honest, caring, trustworthy, and everything that you want in a friend. But, over the course of my life I haven’t really seen that reciprocated much. I’ve had friends here and there, but there were plenty seasons of my life that I was friendless and lonely. But now in this season of my life I have real friends: People I can call on, be accountable with, and know that they have my back! Now that I can plainly see several examples of what a friend should be, this song came to life for me…and now I love it! 🙂
So, the song says, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.” This part hit me like a ton of bricks! I was thinking practically. What is one of the main reasons we have and want friends in our lives? We want people we can talk to! We want people who we can be real with, share our secrets with (who won’t share them with others), and people who will listen. So, what a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins, griefs, secrets, shame, victories, failures, fears, desires, etc. to bear.
“What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” Since I know what it’s like to have friends and not to have friends, I COMPLETELY understand that it is a privilege to be in friendship with someone! I mean, think about it. Place in your minds your most favoritest, bestest friend in the world (and that’s good English! :-P). Now, imagine life without them. For all you smarty-pants out there who are saying, “ok, yeah, but I’ve had other best friends before,” imagine LIFE without them as in NO best friend EVER! Wouldn’t you feel lost, alone, and frustrated all the time? Now, enter stage left your BFF. Aren’t you relieved and grateful? It’s a PRIVILEGE to be friends with someone!
“O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” Whoever wrote this song is straight genius! First he tells you why Jesus is such a great friend, but then he tells you why we go through some of the things we go through: because we don’t utilize our friendship with Him. So, some of the lack of peace and pain in our life could have been avoided if we would have only went to our friend Jesus and told Him about it. And what exactly is telling your friend Jesus what’s going on in your life? Prayer! That’s all prayer is: talking to the Lord and telling Him what’s up–just like a friend.
Of course with hindsight being 20/20, I now see that those years when I was friendless and longing for a friend, I already had the ultimate friend, and HE was longing for me! WOW! What a FRIEND I have in Jesus! That’s one of those things–to me–that you know, but you don’t know. You know what I mean? Like, I’ve always known that Jesus wants to be friends with me, but I suppose I never knew how exactly that was supposed to happen, you know? Or, it’s like this: “Ok, Jesus…You wanna be friends? Ok, well let’s talk!” I pour my heart out to Him, and I want a response right then because I’m lonely and want someone to talk to; but He doesn’t say anything back. It’s like, “DAG Man! I thought we were supposed to be friends?? You’re just gonna leave me hanging like that?” And of course, instead of pressing through the awkwardness of talking to “no one” (which in turn would build my faith), I get burned and give up and go back to looking for human friends again. That was the cycle for a looong time. Now, I don’t care if He responds or not. I don’t care if He’s mad at me and doesn’t want to listen. I’m GONNA talk to Him anyway!! 🙂 We’re redeveloping our friendship. So, understand what a friend you have in Jesus, and take everything to God in prayer.