Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Must Tell Jesus

When Elijah Hoffman penned the words to the song "I Must Tell Jesus" over 100 years ago, he must have had Hebrews 4:15 in his mind. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Another verse in Hebrews explains, "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18).

These things being so, I often find it difficult that some advocate that it is sinful to offer any type of worship to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. It is obvious from Scripture that the heavenly host will worship Jesus throughout eternity (Rev. 5:13). We should understand that singing songs like "I Must Tell Jesus" are not only permissible, but they can bless our lives in very special ways.

One such example was given to me this week by my wife's grandmother, Ruth Turner. Ruth is in an assisted living facility now. In the ten years I have known her she has lost much of her ability to do things both physically and cognitively. She usually doesn't know who we are anymore, or at least she is confused about where to place people and events. But inside her heart her love for Christ remains as the most simple and yet beautiful grace in her life.

When we went to celebrate Thanksgiving lunch with her on Tuesday, a meal provided by the facility where she now lives, the grandkids sang some spiritual songs for encouragement. In a pause between songs, Ruth began to sing softly, and sweetly. "I Must Tell Jesus." The rest of us then began to sing it with her.

You see, Ruth must tell Jesus. She must tell Jesus the things that the rest of us cannot yet understand. She has lost her husband, the love of her life and her companion for more than 60 years. She has lost the days of her ability to do many of the things that once brought her enjoyment. She understands loneliness. She understands heartache. She understands trials. She also understands that the one person she must talk to to overcome is the only Savior and consolation of mankind.

When we are alone, and no one else understands, we must tell Jesus. When we are tempted, and no one else is strong enough, we must tell Jesus. When we are hurting, and no one else sympathizes with our pain, we must tell Jesus. Jesus came because God knew we could not bear the burden alone.

I must tell Jesus all of my trials;
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me;
He ever loves and cares for His own.


I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

I must tell Jesus all of my troubles;
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
If I but ask Him, He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.


Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior;
One Who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share.


O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
Over the world the victory to win.


~ Elijah Hoffman (1893)

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