Who Holds the Reins?

mark & jake on sleigh ride
Mark and Jake with the sleigh ride horses (photo courtesy of Joan Farnum)

Sometimes the circumstances around us can make us feel that everything is out of control. That is the place where our adversary, the devil,  steps in to grip us with fear.

The circumstances in this nation—Covid-19, and now the rioting, demonstrations and violence—may appear to be hurtling out of control. But we have to remember “who holds the reins.”

The Streams in the Desert readings for today are old and familiar to me as they have spoken peace to me through the years. I will share a bit here. The first is from Charles Spurgeon. I will add a few words in parentheses to help us understand the truths this mighty man of God was sharing with those in his generation:

“Why ( do you worry yourself?) What use can (your) fretting serve? (You are) on board a vessel which (you could not) steer even if the great Captain put (you) at the helm, of which ( you could not) so much as reef a sail, yet (you worry) as if (you) were captain and helmsman.

“Oh, be quiet; God is Master!     

“(Do you) think that all this din and hurly-burly (noisy disorder and confusion; tumult) that is abroad (says) that God has left His throne? No, man. His (swift horses) rush furiously on, and His chariot is the storm; but there is a bit between their jaws; and He holds the reins, and guides them as He wills!  Jehovah is Master yet; believe it; peace be unto (you)!  Be not afraid!”

There were a few times in the twenty one years that we had horses and did sleigh rides that we had runaways, where the horses were spooked by something ( a broken part on a manure spreader, or cross country skiers going by in the full moon), that caused them to run out of control. 

God graciously kept people from fatal harm, and I thank Him regularly for His care in those “out of control” times. It is good to know who truly does “hold the reins.”

In times such as we are all facing now that feel so “out of control”, the Lord would want us to remember that He is on the throne, and He is working in ways we do not see He is asking us to trust Him unwaveringly in this season because He sees what we do not.

The Streams reading ends with these words from the past as well:

 “I entreat you, give no place to despondency ( loss of hope). This is a dangerous temptation—a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary.

“Melancholy (sadness and depression of spirits) contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to receive the impressions of grace. It magnifies and gives a false coloring to objects, and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear.

“God’s designs regarding you, and His methods of bringing about these designs are infinitely wise.”  ~ Jeanne Guyon

Oh, Father, we trust Your hands as You hold the reins of these circumstances that we don’t understand. Please enable us to keep our eyes on You in these tumultuous times, that we might be able to be Your instruments of peace to those around us that may be very afraid. May You be glorified as we trust You.

John 14:24-33, especially verse 27:  “…But Jesus spoke to them at once (in the storm). ‘Don’t be afraid,’ He said. ‘Take courage. I am here.’ “