Psalm 40:1-3; Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:2; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
What unlikely hymn was written by a man who later became known as the “Sunshine Minister”? Let’s Talk about that tonight on Nightly Devotions.
My Mom recently told a story about how her dad gave her the nickname of “sunshine” because whenever she came into the room she brightened his day. Mom later called their property “Sunshine Acres” because of that.
It is amazing how some people can brighten a room just with their presence. That is the way it was with Frank E. Graeff. Graeff served as a minister in several of the Methodist Churches in the Philiadelphia Conference. His cheerful demeanor and his ability to help others earned him the nickname the “Sunshine Minister”. He had a deep, joyous laughter that would well up from the heart. His joyous attitude and willingness to share the burdens of others came from a loving relationship with a God who lifted him out of his own despair and misery.
Rev. Frank Graeff would gladly tell of the days when he suffered from the feelings of loneliness, isolation, and abandonment. He suffered trial after trial which tested his faith. He felt as if he were in a deep, miry pit.
The Psalmist David felt the same way. He wrote in Psalm 40:1-3, I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
This could have been Graeff’s psalm just as it could be the psalm of many people listening to my story tonight. In his extreme pain, when he felt he could bare no more, Graeff focused his thoughts on Jesus Christ and became aware of his presence filling him. He felt his burdens becoming lighter as if someone had taken his burdens to carry. And of course, that’s exactly what happened.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt 11:28-30).
Peter said, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
And the Psalmist said, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Ps 55:2).
Graeff felt the touch of God’s sympathetic understanding and help. His heart warming experience of the Divine Presence of God changed him and flooded his heart with a joyous strength. This strength was clearly seen by others. Because Graeff had experienced this wonderful grace he was able to help others who were grieved in the spirit as well. He was able to comfort others.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
In 1901, Graeff wrote the song, “Does Jesus Care” in which the chorus cheerfully states, “O 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!”
Does Jesus Care
CCLI Song # 101812 Frank E. Graeff | Joseph Lincoln Hall © Public Domain CCLI License # 11195219
1 - 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
Chorus -O 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
2 - 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
3 - Does Jesus care when I've tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong
When for my deep grief I find no relief
Though my tears flow all the night long
4 - 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