Should we leave “childish” things behind?

Many in the English-speaking world grew up in churches in the last century (acknowledged, many didn’t too). I did. And over the years I have watched the exodus of young people from the church institutions, many citing it as being irrelevant to modern-day life.

Every evening during bedtime with my young daughter, we read a Bible story, pray, and sing a song (or two). We’re currently working through the Junior Praise song book. Tonight one of the songs was “What a Friend we have in Jesus”. While singing through it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how lonely people can get these days as people grow more and more suspicious of their neighbours, and how this loneliness leads to loss of hope, despair, depression, anxiety and for some, suicide. And I couldn’t help but think, “If only we could sing this song more to ourselves.” For it is such a beautiful reminder that there is ALWAYS a friend standing by who can be closer to us than a brother, sister, husband, wife, partner, BFF, parent or child can EVER be.

I’ve known that comfort that comes from knowing that Jesus loves me even as He knows my deepest, darkest secrets, even as He knows the terrible mistakes I’ve made (the ones I’ve struggled to forgive myself for before realising His love covers even them). Have you?

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.

Blessèd 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.

– John Scriven, 1855

About Laurel C Kriegler

A born and bred South African, I was educated at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where I graduated with an Honours Degree (post-graduate) in Economics at the end of 2001. After spending several years gaining work experience in the UK, I returned to South Africa to get married. It was during the ensuing period that my pursuits of writing and editing took hold.
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