Once blind Bartimaeus had received his sight, he “followed Jesus along the road.” The last few days I’ve been catching up with various men and women who are seeking to follow Jesus along the road. Though the will of God is good, pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2b), it is not easy.
I’ve had three songs tracking through my brain as I’ve heard the challenges and been led to pray for others on the road who are following Jesus.
#1 is a chorus we learned in Sunday School many years ago–shall I reveal how old I am? Here’s the chorus – “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, All I have to do is follow…” Easier sung than done, isn’t it? We may sing with great passion our confidence in the Lord knowing the way, but the following on our part is quite a different matter. Following through the wilderness is not the same as following through a grassy meadow.
#2 is a gospel song we learned in church services many years ago–don’t ask! Here’s the opening line – ‘It’s not an easy road we are travelling to heaven….” Hmm…not an easy road. Though dated in style, this song rings with truth, doesn’t it? Cancer, unemployment, depression, anxiety, and other challenges make the road more challenging. As the poem, Aunt Alice Peckover, shared with me many years ago, we are following a zig-zag path. I blogged about this on April 27, 2015 – if you care to refresh your memory, here is the link.
#3 is another soul-stirring reflection of what it means to follow Jesus along the road. I haven’t heard this one sung for a long time. Perhaps I’ll quote it some Sunday when I’m preaching. Though not designed for congregational singing (in my humble opinion), the truth of it still needs to be heard! Let the words rebuke and encourage you as they have challenged me.
Follow Me by Ira Stanphill
1 I traveled down a lonely road And no one seemed to care;
The burden on my weary back Had bowed me to despair,
I oft complained to Jesus How folks were treating me,
And then I heard Him say so tenderly,
“My feet were also weary, Upon the Calv’ry road;
The cross became so heavy, I fell beneath the load,
Be faithful weary pilgrim, The morning I can see,
Just lift your cross and follow close to me.”
2. “I work so hard for Jesus” I often boast and say,
“I’ve sacrificed a lot of things To walk the narrow way,
I gave up fame and fortune, I’m worth a lot to Thee,”
And then I hear Him gently say to me.
“I left the throne of glory And counted it but loss,
My hands were nailed in anger Upon a cruel cross,
But now we’ll make the journey With your hand safe in mine,
So lift your cross and follow close to me.
3. Oh, Jesus if I die upon A foreign field some day,
‘Twould be no more than love demands No less could I repay,
“No greater love hath mortal man Than for a friend to die”
These are the words He gently spoke to me,
“If just a cup of water I place within your hand
Then just a cup of water Is all that I demand,”
But if by death to living They can thy glory see,
I’ll take my cross and follow close to thee.
If you’ve been tracking with my schedule, you know I’m headed to a Global Proclamation Congress next week. I’m looking forward to meeting some of God’s choice servants who are seeking to follow Christ along the road. Would you pray that I will be a ‘Son of Encouragement’ to them?’ I won’t post further details here, but head to the website for Global Proclamtion Congress to keep up to date – Global Proclamation Congress Blog
This Day in Christian History indicates
June 11 – 1739
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, records in his journal, “I look upon all the world as my parish.”
Many godly leaders have echoed this burden – Amen, John, Amen!