Those that have visited recently know the question burning on my heart…
My friend, Vanessa, didn’t know when she sent me this Music Monday guest post. And I can’t help but see it for what it is.
A gift. From Him.
For He knows what touches my soul, and this post…this hymn…does.
Friends, I’m honored to share Vanessa’s heart with you. Won’t you give her a warm welcome?
The organ began to play, and my heart leaped into my throat as it recognized the familiar tune.
The toddler pulling at my dress. The preschooler climbing, jumping, hanging upside down in the pews.
All the struggles of that morning wrangling these two simply melted in the low hum of that organ.
I held the hymnal and my man wrapped his arm around my waist. When I whispered “this is one of my favorites” half-way through, my man just squeezed me tighter, and in that moment I knew he had heard every tear-choked word I had been belting out with my imperfect voice.
Music has always had a powerful affect on me.
I picked up my first instruments at the age of ten, learning two or three more before entering college.
Handel’s Messiah always brought chills during the holidays.
The trumpet during This is the Feast of Victory for Our God every Sunday morning at our first church was the highlight of the service, and my man and I would sing the words throughout the rest of the day.
During tough times, the Lutheran in me even found peace in the words of praise songs… and Mighty to Save and Desert Song are still difficult to sing through the tears and the catch in my throat.
But there are a handful of hymns that undo me down to my core.
These hymns dig deep, to loosen all the junk I’ve been carrying, forcing me to dump it all at the cross.
These hymns break open wounds to allow for the healing I need.
The words. The melodies. They pierce my soul and release my heart of stone so I can be once again renewed with the clean heart He promises.
On this particular Sunday morning, the hymn that undid me, the hymn that erased all the struggles of that morning and let me release it all to Him, was this:
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.
Yes, there are two more verses, but I will leave you with these along with this amazing performance by Alan Jackson.
I pray this is a blessing to you today as it was for me that Sunday.
Vanessa writes to inspire, to encourage, to lift up and to celebrate God’s love for you at Hearts On Guard. She is a proud Army National Guard wife and a working mom of two toddlers. She seeks community, fellowship, and the sharing of God’s mercy and grace with all. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
How about you, friend? How have you released it all lately and taken it all to the friend we have in Jesus? We’d love to hear.
Thanks for sharing your time with us.
Nikki (and Vanessa)