DOES JESUS CARE?
Frank E. Graeff, 1860–1919
And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
God whispers in our pleasures but shouts in our pain.
—C. S. Lewis
Frank E. Graeff, author of this hymn text, knew what it was to wonder, as most of God’s children do at times, if the Lord is really concerned during our times of hurt, when the burdens and cares weigh heavily, when the way seems dark, when temptation seems difficult to resist, or when we must part with our dearest loved one. Yet the answer comes back triumphantly: “I know my Savior cares!”
Known as the “sunshine minister” of the Methodist denomination in the churches of the Philadelphia conference, Frank Graeff was widely liked for his cheerful and winsome personality. C. Austin Miles, writer of the hymn “In the Garden,” said of him:
He is a spiritual optimist, a great friend of children; his bright sun-shining disposition attracts not only children but all with whom he comes in contact. He has a holy magnetism and a child-like faith.
Unknown to others, however, were the many severe testing experiences in Mr. Graeff’s life. It was during a time of severe physical agony, doubt, and despondency that he turned to the Scriptures for comfort and strength. First Peter 5:7, which says, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you,” became especially meaningful to him in this time of need. He wrote the lines of “Does Jesus Care?” to express the feelings of assurance that came to him. Mr. Graeff wrote more than 200 hymns in his lifetime, but none has been more consoling to God’s people than this text:
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 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?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed to resist some temptation strong, when for my deep grief I find no relief, tho my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said good bye to the dearest on earth to me, and my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Chorus: O yes, He cares—I know He care! His heart is touched with my grief; when the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.
For Today: Psalm 28:7; 42:8; Isaiah 26:4; Mark 5:36; 1 Peter 5:7
In your times of darkness or sorrow, rest in the security of the truth that Jesus truly cares deeply and will ultimately meet your need. Then try to comfort someone else with this musical truth—