Jesus says: “I Will Put My Trust Him” (Hebrews 2:10-13)
“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says: “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”” (Hebrews 2:10-13, NIV)
Mr. Jack Howle recently blessed me with the wonderful gift of the complete Works of John Wesley. This means that I now have 14 Volumes, comprising 7318 pages, of Wesley’s journals, sermons, letters, dialogues, essays, personal advisories, thoughts, prayers, suggestions, and lessons in both grammar and music. Upon considering that the theme for this year’s Lenten Devotional Series is “Journeys to Jesus,” I decided to see what Mr. Wesley had to say about journeys.
Here is what I found in his Journal from March of 1770:
“In the following days I went on slowly, through Staffordshire and Cheshire, to Manchester. In this journey, as well as in many others, I observed a mistake that almost universally prevails; and I desire all travelers to take good notice of it, which may save them both from trouble and danger. Near thirty years ago, I was thinking, ‘How is it that no horse ever stumbles while I am reading?’ (History, poetry, and philosophy I commonly read on horseback, having other employment at other times.) No account can possibly be given but this: Because then I throw the reins on his neck. I then set myself to observe; and I aver, that in riding above an hundred thousand miles, I scarce ever remember any horse . . . . to fall, or make a considerable stumble, while I rode with a slack rein. To fancy, therefore, that a tight rein prevents stumbling is a capital blunder. . . A slack rein will prevent stumbling, if anything will.” The Works of John Wesley, vol. 3, p. 393.
Wesley’s advice for the traveler is a good analogy for how Jesus wants us to trust Him to lead us in the journey of our lives. Instead of trying to control every detail of his journey, by reading and studying when on horseback, Wesley concentrated on preparing himself to be who he needed to be when he arrived at his destination. Likewise, Jesus wants us to loosen our tight grip on the reins of life so that He may lead our journey, while we personally concentrate on being the person He wants us to be. By trying to maintain too much control, we cause ourselves to become out of control. Wesley spent the first part of his life trying to control his relationship with Jesus, but he was often despondent because he was not “possessed of joy,” and felt he had fallen from salvation. Eventually, his heart was “strangely warmed” at Aldersgate, and he began to allow Jesus to take control of his life. His journey then led him to become the leader of the Methodist movement.
In the Verse from Hebrews at the top of this page, Jesus himself proclaims that he puts his trust in God when caring for all of the children of God.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us remember that, as a child of God, everything in life happens for a reason and You alone know why. Thank you for guiding us, but please help us remember that by selfishly trying to be in control, we can hinder the journey that you wish us to take. Please help us not only to be where you want us to be, when you want us to be there, but also to concentrate on loving you and our neighbors as Jesus instructed us to do. In his Holy Name we pray, Amen.