Our Best Friend
Our Best Friend
Jan 05, 2017
Words, a basic staple of communication for all. But sometimes words when combined into a speech or song live forever. The words leave such a legacy that often the life story of the person is never known or is forgotten by most. Such is the case for Joseph Scriven. For most of you reading this, I am going to assume this is the first time you are being introduced to Mr. Scriven.
Life was not kind Joseph. Tragically, just one day before his wedding his wife to be was thrown from her horse and died. Joseph was crushed and feared he could never love again, and yet God brought another women into his life 10 years later and Joseph once again found love and plans for a wedding were made. Once again tragedy entered Joseph’s life as his wife to be became ill two weeks before they were to be married and passed away.
As if this was not enough for one man to face, Joseph Scriven soon learned his mother was gravely ill. Unable to return home to see his mother, Joseph was moved to write a poem to his dying mother. His words written about 150 years ago are the basis for my message today. Allow me to share a few lines of his poem:
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh, 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 sorrow share? Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Yes, for many of you reading this, the words of Joseph Scriven are known to you in the form of a song written by Charles Converse 30 years later. A song, young and old still sung today – What a Friend we have in Jesus.
Joseph Scriven wasn’t a great man, rather he was a man of God who found strength in his closest friend in his darkest times. That loving Father and friend stands ready today to hear your prayers – He is your truest of friends loving you just as you are. He stands ready to become your dearest and closest friend – now go to Him; He is waiting.
My Thought for Your Day
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
About the Author
Paul Minzlaff and his family have been members of Hales Corners Lutheran Church for almost 25 years. Paul has focused his service on serving as a lay worship leader as well as in men’s ministry, Ebenezer and Life coaching, and he is also currently completing a 2nd term on the Board of Directors. Paul is married to Pam and, together, they have two daughters, Elizabeth and Erika.
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