- I find an oasis by simply opening a book: ”Then Sings my Soul’ by Robert J. Morgan. Have you ever sat and read an old hymn? Well, in this book you have a chance to look at the hymn, but also hear a story behind it.This is how I spent many of my hours in the infusion room getting chemo, but I read the book aloud! And all in the chairs within earshot ,smiled with comfort and relief – ‘speaking in hymns’ gave strength and hope and peace in a very turbulent and scary time.
- May I lead you to an oasis… in the Hymn, “Does Jesus Care” (unknown to me),written by Frank E. Graeff in 1901, we learn that the writer was a very upbeat, optimistic man who in turn went through great trials and ‘found himself in the unfamiliar valley of deep depression and despondency…At length, he collapsed into the Everlasting Arms and found himself singing Joseph Scriven’s old hymn: ‘What a friend we have in Jesus/ All our sins and griefs to bear/ What a privilege to carry,/ Everything to God in prayer… The truth of 1 Peter 5:7 suddenly took hold of him: “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Out of that experience, Frank wrote, “Does Jesus Care?”‘
- ‘Does Jesus Care? When my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song; /As the burdens press and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long?/ O yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, The long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares. He cares.
- Does Jesus care when my way is dark With a nameless dread and fear? As the daylight fades Into deep night shades, Does He care enough to be near? O yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, The long night shades, I know my Savior cares. He cares.
- Does Jesus care When I’ve tried and failed To resist some temptation strong; When for my deep grief I find no relief, Though my tears flow All the night long? O yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, the long night shades, I know my Savior cares. He cares.
- Does Jesus care When I’ve said good-bye To the dearest on earth to me, And my sad heart aches Till it nearly breaks, Is it aught to Him? Does He see? O yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary; The long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares. He cares.’
- Our own thoughts lie and convince us that God doesn’t care, and we often are filled with despair – but the truth is, He is there, and yes, Jesus does care. HE CARES. So, just as that ‘breaking point’ fell upon Frank Graeff in 1909, and he was reminded of that old hymn, “What a friend we have in Jesus” and perhaps in his despondency even recited all the words: “…all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.” And perhaps, God spoke to his heart as he continued, “Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.“
- If things on this earth are looking real bad right now, and your heart is overwhelmed, we can choose to ‘forfeit peace’ and be fretful, or we can choose to believe that He cares -He is our Father- to all who believe in Him, He calls His children – cast your burdens, dear children of the Father, on Him – you will discover, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’, ‘O yes, He cares…’