Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Favorite Hymns/Hymnists Part V: Does Jesus Care?

When I think of last Sunday, September 11, 2011, the ten year anniversary of terrorist attacks on our country, I think of the age old question: Why doesn't God care & allow horrible things happen to people?

A lot of Christians face this question from unbelievers, some questioning genuinely and others seeking a "trap" to prove that either God is not real or cruel and uncaring.

When I hear that question, I think of the hymn, "Does Jesus Care" by Frank E. Graeff

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress
And the way grows weary and long?
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

The Lord doesn't take pleasure in our pain. In fact, he designed for us a comfortable, happy, beautiful & perfect paradise. But, the choice of our ancestors to sin caused pain and sorrow to enter the world. Pain is a direct result of sin & it is our own sin, in which we choose to indulge that causes us the grief we so often have to endure. But, Jesus does care. This song is so poignant and always relevant. I sang it after my grandfather passed away to comfort me.

My paternal grandfather passed to Glory when I was only 12 years old, a victim of cancer. I can remember crying so hard that I had to be held onto the pew on which I sat. I understood death more than most 12 year-olds, but I still ached as if there were an arrow shot into my heart. He was followed by my maternal grandmother when I was 19 & my maternal grandfather when I was nearly 21. I still feel a little cheated at times. I was very close with them and I ache that my children do not know them. I yearn for them to be able to benefit from their wisdom as I was. And I still have days these many years later that I feel that God took them far too early from me, when I am still in need of their guidance. On those days the last verse of this song is a great comfort to me. I know that he sees and cares when I ache for their company again. When I have a question I think only my grandma can answer or in need of wisdom only my grandpa can impart, or a song only my grandpa can sing.

This song reminds me that when I ache with the sorrows of this world. My Lord is ever watching, ever caring, and ever present. Though I say goodbye to those I love the dearest on this earth, I never say goodbye to my Savior!

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