Jesus was my near and dear Friend on Sept. 10th, 2011. It happened to be my birthday the day before, but I was driving to a large Medical Center a couple hours from my home. It was about 4am. I had just left an Emergency Room where I had spent hours with my husband. He was all of a sudden very critical, and being transferred from that small hospital, Life Flighted to this large Medical Center. I was driving my car, trying to stay awake by drinking coffee and turning the radio up very loud. Just as I was to turn into this large Medical Center, the radio announcer said, "I have a song for you. I will tell you the backround on this song, and then we will play it for you." I wasn't really listening too intently because my mind was reeling from all that had happened in the past six hours at the small hospital. I was alone, and uneasy knowing medically that my husband was very critical. Then suddenly the hymn "What a Friend I Have in Jesus" came over the radio with unusual clarity. It was so clear that it totally brought my mind and thoughts to the words of the hymn.
The words of the hymn are:
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 thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the lord in prayer; In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.
I knew at that moment that the Lord was impressing on my spirit and assuring me…. “you are not walking in there alone. I am the Friend that is walking in there with you right now”. I just sat there for a minute to absorb into my soul and spirit that I was NOT alone. I had my Friend with me, faithfully by my side, bearing my burden and bearing me up in all that He was going to bring into my life in the next hours. When I actually walked into the Intensive Care Unit, my sweet husband was on a respirator.
As the Lord would have it, according to His will and good pleasure, within 3 hours of that hymn, I was calling our four children to tell them if they “wanted to see their Dad alive, you must come now”. For some that meant an immediate 10 hour drive, or a 14 hour drive.
Jesus was our friend through the days of our deepest sorrow and grief. He was a faithful Friend, as He chose to call my sweet husband Home to be with Him. I need a Friend and He is that faithful Friend even now. To God be the Glory !!