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What a Friend

Having arrived in my senior years, I marvel to hear others tell their life’s story.  Most of the time, after I have listened to the deep valleys, hurts, illnesses, and heart breaks others have endured, I realize how very easy my life has been.  For so many of God’s people, when they speak of experiencing the presence and power of God in the storms of life, they speak with a tear in their eye.  The powerful encounter that they experienced when the LORD appeared, comforted, encouraged, and walked them through the valley is still fresh.  When they tell about those times, their voice gets a little softer, their speech sometimes has pauses between words, and their heads sometimes drop in a reverential awe as they speak of the Lord’s mercies.

In the 1800s, Joseph Scriven was a brilliant young man engaged to a beautiful lady. But on the night before their wedding, his fiancé fell into a pond and tragically drowned. Joseph never really overcame the shock, and many more tragedies plagued his life. But he spent his life serving the Lord by working with poor, underprivileged people. Often he was seen cutting wood for widows, doing repairs to homes for those who did not have the means to pay for work to be done, and taking food to families he knew were hungry.

Some years later, he again fell in love with a lady named Eliza Roche. But shortly before their wedding, she fell ill with a fever and died.  

In 1855 Joseph wrote a poem to send back home to his mother in Ireland. His goal was simply to comfort his mother during a difficult time in her life, but 30 years later this poem was discovered by a friend who was taking care of Joseph in his final illness. It has become one of the most favorite hymns of all time, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

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.    (Copied).

Jesus is a friend who never leaves us or forsakes us.  He promised to be with us always.

Proverbs 18:24 – There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

John 15:14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 

Deut. 31:8 – It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.