It Almost Didn’t Make the Cut: “Jesus is your Friend” Song Story

The arranging and recording process is not for the faint of heart. I learned that rather early on as we made progress on The Dawn. Although I enjoyed hearing my songs come together, there were just some pieces that weren’t evolving in the way I had imagined. As the end of June, 2018 approached, I realized we were at a realistic point in the production process where I could see the end in sight. The only problem was that I only had nine songs that were coming together, and I had anticipated an album with ten tracks. Something was missing but I wasn’t quite sure what that could be.
It wasn’t until I was rehearsing for an upcoming performance that I found clarity. I went back into the archives, so to speak, and stumbled upon one of the first songs I had ever written. I had put pen to paper at age seventeen, composing the music in my living room during a quiet afternoon when I was finally alone. When you grow up in a household with parents and three younger siblings, it is rarely quiet, so I was taking full advantage of the solitude when I wrote “Jesus is Your Friend.”
The song was inspired by a difficult sophomore year in high school. I didn’t have many friends, and I was lonely. I observed as many of my classmates learned to drive, started dating, and planned to go to the prom. I witnessed break-ups and catty drama; it seemed like relationships changed in an instant during my high school days.
“Jesus is your Friend” was probably the easiest song I have ever written. It flowed from my heart in probably twenty minutes, but I wasn’t keeping track of the time. Once I finished the song, I was proud of it, but I was reluctant to play it for an audience because I was so emotionally attached to it. But once I played it for my mother, I found that maybe performing it live wasn’t going to be so difficult after all.
Over the next few years, I performed “Jesus is Your Friend” at our family concerts. The Lokker family was occasionally invited to share music and testimony at area churches, and although my parents took lead on most of our songs, they encouraged me to do a few songs on my own, and that served to boost my confidence.
In the Summer before my senior year, I was commissioned to write a song for a local Relay for Life team in support of the American Cancer Society. I was unable to attend the Relay and perform the song live, so I made contact with someone who offered to record me in their home studio. “Beam of Hope” turned out so well that I ended up adding three other songs to create a four-song demo. “Jesus is Your Friend” was the first track.
In 2008, I had the opportunity to record again, and this time, I self-produced a full album at a local studio. The album opened up with “Jesus is your Friend,” which I felt was one of my strongest songs at the time. So when it came to recording again ten years later, it only seemed fitting to include the song that had been on my other two projects. It isn’t the first track on the album this time around, but its there and its reimagined. From the rain and thunder to the countermelodies from Jenny’s violin, the song has taken on new perspective.
I’m no longer that lonely seventeen-year-old, but I still resonate with the lyrics, because loneliness comes in adulthood too. On those dark days when nothing makes sense and I’m feeling unloved, I only have to remind myself of the simple but incredible truth; even though others may let me down, there is Someone who will always be my friend. In fact, I have often referred to Jesus as my best friend, and its His friendship that I cling to when I need an anchor.
I already know the impact this song has had on my audience. I have heard stories that have detailed depression, anxiety, and despair, but I have reveled in the hope that this simple message has conveyed. The love of Jesus and His presence doesn’t solve the world’s problems. In fact, it was Jesus who told us in His Word, that we would have trouble in this world. But He also told us to take heart, because He had overcome the world! To have Jesus as your close and personal friend is a pretty powerful reality, and He’s one friend you want to have in your corner. Even when life gives the impression that its not okay, we can know that we are okay because He is holding the world in His hands. A true friend cares for those he loves, and as the Scriptures say, if He cares for the sparrows He can certainly care for you and me.
“Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Jesus is your friend.”

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