(Psalm 103:12, Hebrews 13:8, Luke 22)
What A Friend
I wrote this song more than a year and a half ago with my friends from the band I AM THEY. While I was working on my most recent album, Echoes, I realized I wrote a chunk of songs that were inadvertently inspired by hymns. The funny thing about hymns is you don’t necessarily find the hymns, but they seem to find you for a specific purpose.
With this song, the story of the original hymn is powerful and speaks a lot to the current cultural moment we find ourselves in. The original hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” was written by Joseph Scriven – an Irishman who moved to Canada. He was engaged twice, but both times his fiancée’s died. He then became a missionary in Ontario, Canada helping the physically handicapped and the destitute.
Joseph wrote a poem to comfort his mother, who was also ill at the time – which he said was a song that he wrote with the Lord that was his life story. That poem turned into the lyrics of “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” It says a lot about this man, who experienced so much suffering in his life, that he was able to put the pen to paper writing lyrics declaring the friendship of Jesus in the face of so much suffering. That is true devotion. That is true faith.
His friendship is consistent, constant, and never changes. It never wavers. It never falters.
More than ever before, I think Christians need to remind people about the friendship of God. That His friendship is consistent, constant, and never changes. It never wavers. It never falters. On this earth, we experience how fragile and frail human relationships can be. Even Jesus experienced this in the Garden of Gethsemane when one of His own disciples, Judas, betrayed Him. Yet with all of the chaos in that moment, Jesus says “Enough is enough. No more.”
This moment shows that betrayal and conflict only lead to more betrayal and conflict, and the only remedy to this is the friendship of God.