Joy in the journey!

Joy in the journey!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What a friend we have......

She sat there with a look on her face that was angelic.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  She would sit in her rocking chair and sew for hours.  Those clothes she worked so hard on, would be sent to missions.  She usually had a straight pin or two in her mouth, but it didn’t stop her from singing.  I could hear the shaky sweet voice of my precious Grandma sing “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.  What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”  It was her favorite hymn. There are days that sweet tune she sang rings in my spirit for hours.  

This week as I sat here thinking about the journey I am on.  I started to get a little overwhelmed.  Never at one time have I ever had so many huge tasks at hand that needed so much faith, and endurance.  I am a doer.  I am a planner.  I tend to overthink things in figuring out how things will work.  This can work for me at times, and it can work against me at other times.  Have you ever become so exhausted in the planning that you don’t enjoy the trip?  Well I found myself working on the solution to every situation, and there were many situations to be solved.  It was exhausting.  

Then as I sat there completely overwhelmed, there it was.  It was that sweet shaking voice that sounded like an angel.  It was like it was right there with me.  I just remembered it all and began to sing it outloud.  “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear.  What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”  The hymn my Grandma would sing for hours. It rang so strongly in my spirit, and a peace came with it.   

I remember even as a young girl I would get overwhelmed, and my Grandma would remind me to stop looking at the problem, look to Jesus.  She said it with such comfort.  
It was so simple, so sweet, so lifechanging. 

As I sung the song under my breath, I realized that all my methods to solve, all my plans, all my “trying to figure things out”, won’t work without His fingerprints on them.  He reveals to me what doesn’t work because, after all, He is the answer.  In my worthy goals to do things right, and figure things out, in my home, school, church, ministry, relationships, in any place or situation, there is no saving grace, no answer, apart from Jesus.  It is Jesus alone that makes the difference.  His competence, His comprehensiveness, His assessment of what is needed, His interactions in hearts, and in days, His presence and performance are key to any “solutions.”  

I cannot overthink God’s plan, I need to trust Him with it.  As C.S. Lewis said “Relying on God has to start all over every day, as if nothing has yet been done.” Some days that means relying on Him minute by minute.  

Oh the amazing things I have learned on this journey.  He shows up in ways I never dreamed.  He teaches me and equips me in some of the hardest times of my life.  I think that is so neat.  It’s not about me, and how I can fix things.  It’s about Him and how I can trust His plan, no matter what.  

As I sing that song over and over in my captive consciousness: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.  What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.”  I am not singing anymore about my act of carrying anything, or figuring things out, or my acts at all.  I am singing about Him.  He’s the game-changer, He’s the difference maker.  

Are you facing something that seems insurmountable?  Let God put His fingerprints on it, let Him be the game changer for you.  He is there just waiting.  Not only will you see your breakthrough, you will watch your life be transformed through the journey with Him.  You will love who you become!  What a friend we have in Jesus!  I will forever hear this hymn in my heart.  Thank you Grandma, for so lovingly instilling in me what this really means.  I know she is in heaven smiling and singing.  And I kind of think heaven joins in with her when I sing those sweet words.  

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.

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