At the recent CMA Awards, where women of country music were honored and highlighted, Dolly Parton was a central part of the evening, helping to host the event.  Dolly took the event to a higher level later in the evening with some faith-filled songs, teaming with Christian artists For King and Country and Zach Williams.  In the duet Parton, a country western icon, sang at the top of her voice “There was Jesus. (amazing) After the medley was done, Parton declared, “Praise God!” (Wow)

I write about this event for several reasons.  First, I like country music.  I am personally moved by the duet.  Secondly, it is amazing to me how God is able to brake through the hard crust of modern secularism, with the message of love and grace.  Thirdly, I want share some thoughts from the duet with Zach Williams, entitled “There was Jesus.”

Men, I strongly suggest that you watch Zach Williams’ concert at Harding prison.  I was moved to tears as I listened and watch Williams minister to hardened prisoners.  He is the real deal in my opinion.  His soulfulness connected with those inmates.  Watch it for yourself.

Here are some of the lyrics that speak to the journey of men in our day.  “Every time I tried to make it on my own/ Every time I tried to stand and start to fall/ And all those lonely roads that I have traveled on/ There was Jesus.”  Men, whatever detour you’ve taken, whatever ditch you might be in, you can be assured that Jesus, stand there waiting for you to look to him.  Hear Jesus say, “Take courage!  It  is I. Don’t be afraid” (Mark 6:50).  In the midst of the storm “There was Jesus.” 

Here’s some more lyrics. “When the life I built came crashing to the ground/ When the friends I had were nowhere to be found/ I couldn’t see it then but I can see it now/ “There was Jesus.”  Men, like myself, you will crash and feel all alone.  But hear his words to you, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).  There was Jesus

Finally, the refrain, “In the waiting, in the searching/ In the healing and the hurting/ like a blessing buried in the broken pieces/ Every minute, every moment/ Where I’ve been and where I’m going/ Even when I didn’t know it or couldn’t see it/ There was Jesus.” 

Today, the words of this refrain might speak directly to your situation.  In the midst of your searching and hurting, “like a blessing buried in the broken pieces” you might not feel it or understand it, but his presence is with you to care for you. 

I speak from recent personal experience in my own journey.  My best advice, look up in faith into the face of Jesus (not focused on you) and cry out for him to be merciful to you as wandering and hurting sinful man.  He will meet you at your point of need.  Remember “There was Jesus.”  We read in Ps. 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.” 

Again, do yourself a favor and go to the YouTube videos of Zach’s ministry at Harding prison.  You will be moved to tears.  I believe the guy is anointed to speak to the broken hearts of men.  He is singing from a deep place in his own soul, that connects with the hurts of men.  He is not niece and fluffy.  He is deep, sincere, and passionate about exposing hurt and pain and bringing them to Jesus.