Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.

John 15:13-14


Before the troubles came upon us, I had been focusing my writings on Jesus. But then I changed direction, feeling called to write encouragements, to help us all with the troubles we faced. But recently I realized we must not forget Jesus. Who he was, what he did, and how he calls us to follow him. Because—more than ever—we need to follow him.

What I post here is not a story of how my life is today, but what it was at a time I was feeling bitter about the way my life had gone.

Maybe you can relate? Do you need to forgive someone? Would you like to be free of bitterness? How can Jesus help?

Make sure to click this link to hear that wonderful song What a Friend we Have in Jesus. Aretha Franklin sings a great rendition: .

I remember that song from a long time ago, though it isn’t sung in church too often anymore. The last time I sang it was refreshing – something old come to life again. It brought me back to seeing Jesus the way I had seen him in my childhood.

Within my simple understanding it had conveyed trust and comfort, peace in the bosom of a loving friend. I saw Jesus as a friend who would always be there for me, no matter what.

I recalled a time when I had found a spirit of forgiveness–blessed peace in a situation that had long plagued me. I felt like I had found my old self again. Renewed. I was so very grateful!

Yet then, despite all that, I became angry again. How I longed to be the person I used to be! Why can we never forget? Why do memories keep coming back to haunt us?

Surely there must be a way back to peace. Through Jesus there has to be a way back. If I would only remember him. Perhaps then I could let go of the bitterness.

I had a fresh look at this old hymn, the words having dimmed in my memory.

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

And I prayed: Lord, bring me back to the child I was when I first sang this hymn. Please bring back the sweetness. Remove the pain and anger and help me bring them to you.