I sat down at the piano recently. It doesn’t happen very often nowadays, other than to give one of my girls a piano lesson. This day was different, though. There are a few songs that I always seem to gravitate towards when I do take the time to tickle the ivories. Most of them are found in my favorite red hymnal. The binding is broken, the pages are worn, and the name on the outside cover is one I haven’t used for more than nine years; but that hymnal is precious to me.
I can find certain songs very quickly. Number 320 is “In the Garden.” Grace and Hope joined me as soon as they heard the familiar melody. It’s a favorite of theirs, as well. Just a couple pages back is “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Number 317. I think it’s one of the first hymns I ever learned to play.
I wish we would pay attention to the words of these hymns. Perhaps Christians would feel less distress and animosity in this uncertain world if they took to heart some of the wisdom found in the pages of that little red hymnal.
Politics. Controversies. Self-righteousness. It can all become infuriating. Snide remarks. Harsh words. We’ve complicated our world with so much garbage, it’s hard to weed through it all. That’s why I need to step back and really internalize the Truth.
“O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!”
Whatever is going on around you, take a moment and stop. Realize that if Jesus is your friend, the deafening noise of this world doesn’t have to monopolize your day. You don’t need to feel that heart-pounding anxiety. Those burdens that are not yours to carry can fall by the wayside. The guilt and frustrations of the past don’t need to consume your present reality. You don’t need to waste your time wringing your hands in despair.
John 15:15 reminds us: “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Peace is possible. Not in this world. God’s Word is clear that true peace is impossible on this sinful planet. There will always be wars and conflicts; disputes and disagreements. But peace is possible in your heart and in mine. Don’t minimize that.
My suggestion for today is simple. Get on your knees and take your burdens to the foot of the cross. I know He can handle whatever you send His way. He hung the stars and the planets. He certainly can restore broken relationships and provide hope for the hurting. It’s not a magic formula; it’s a simple relationship with a magnificent God.
I have a friend in Jesus. You can, too.