What Shall I Do?

Let us begin the week with a true story. Elisha A. Hoffman loved those verses. He was born May 7, 1839, in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania. His father was a minister, and Elisha was introduced to Christ at a young age. He attended Philadelphia public schools, studied science, then pursued the classics at Union Seminary of the Evangelical Association. He worked for eleven years with the Association’s publishing house in Cleveland, Ohio. Then, following the death of his young wife, he returned to Pennsylvania and devoted thirty-three years to pastoring Benton Harbor Presbyterian Church.

Hoffman’s pastime was writing hymns, many of which were inspired by pastoral incidents. One day, for example, while calling on the destitute of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, he met a woman whose depression seemed beyond cure. She opened her heart and poured on him her pent-up sorrows. Wringing her hands, she cried, “What shall I do? Oh, what shall I do?”

Hoffman knew what she should do, for he had himself learned the deeper lessons of God’s comfort. He said to the woman, “You cannot do better than to take all your sorrows to Jesus. You must tell Jesus.”

Suddenly the lady’s face lighted up. “Yes!” she cried, “That’s it! I must tell Jesus.” Her words echoed in Hoffman’s ears, and he mulled them over as he returned home. He drew out his pen and started writing,

I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

Hoffman lived to be ninety, preaching the Gospel, telling Jesus his burdens, and giving the church such hymns as What A Wonderful Savior, Down at the Cross, Are You Washed in the Blood?, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and a thousand more.

Many New Testament promises have corresponding verses in the Old Testament that reinforce their power. When Peter, for example, said, “. . . casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7), he was but restating David’s words in Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Do you have a burden too big to bear? Why not take a moment after reading this post and tell Jesus about it. Take your burden to the Lord, then leave it there by faith, casing all your concerns on Him, for He cares for you.

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