Have you ever experienced heartbreak or tragedy so great it shook you to your core? How did you recover from such an experience? Did you cling to Jesus for peace and comfort? Such is the experience behind the beloved hymn, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."
In 1844, Joseph Scriven, who had just completed his university education, was returning back to his hometown to marry his fiancé. The day before the scheduled wedding, as he was traveling, he came across the scene of his fiancé’s tragic accident where she was thrown off her horse to her demise. Heartbroken, Scriven moved from Ireland to Canada to begin a new life.
He eventually overcame the trauma of the loss of his beloved and fell in love once more. Unfortunately, tragedy struck once again. His new fiancé fell ill and died a week before the wedding.
Grief stricken, he leaned on Jesus. In fact, the penned words were a poem in a letter to his mother about his personal relationship with Jesus. This poem was then published anonymously with the title "Pray Without Ceasing." Over a decade later, he acknowledged his authorship of the poem. Ultimately, Charles Converse set this poem to music to be sung as the hymn that is well known around the world.
In times of tragedy, let us remember our Savior will carry us through.
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (KJV).