The Christian Connection
“Does Jesus Care?”
By Myra F. Smith
This devotion is written with a prayerful heart for Sally Taylor and Mae Joyce Downs.
“Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
Franklin Ellsworth Graeff (1860-1919) was known to his Philadelphia parishioners as the “Sunshine Minister” because of his radiant personality and unique way with children. But, as Charles Spurgeon once said in his book, “The Minister’s Fainting Fits”, written to assist ministers with the discouragement and depression that often comes with ministry: “the joyous are not always happy.”
While some of Frank Graeff’s personal history cannot be verified, it is rumored that he lost a beautiful daughter and wife in a horrible house fire; documented accounts of his life show that he lost two-thirds of his family by age 40, both parents and four sisters. And so, in his great despondency and grief, this Methodist pastor asked a pointed question, “Does Jesus Care?” His answer became the words to one of our greatest hymns.
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song; as the burdens press and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and 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.
Why does Jesus, the Son of God, care about our grief? He cares because He came to earth as a man. He lost dear friends and wept; He became angry and lashed out at injustice; He despaired in the Garden; He needed time away from the demanding crowds; he received continued rejection from priests and commoners alike, and died for OUR SINS with his flesh nailed to two pieces of wood. That’s why He cares.
Truly, if Jesus had walked on earth, the perfect Son of God, in a saintly bubble, I’m not sure I could believe. But This Jesus I know. This Jesus I can relate to: the Jesus who walked, taught, healed and lived among us with dirty feet, calloused, healing hands, and a heart that hurts for you and me.
Does Jesus care? More than our minds can comprehend or our hearts contain. Amen and Amen.