Thursday, May 6, 2010
She lived a very difficult life. She was the last of 25 children living in England in the 16th century. She was brilliant but had little education. She married an older man and bore him 16 children. Nine of her children died. At one point, as her home was burning to the ground she counted her children to be sure they were all safe but found one missing. John was dramatically rescued from a window in the second story of the house. Her health was failing. Her name was Susanna.
Susanna’s husband was Samuel. He was a preacher who made barely enough money to sustain his family. He was not good at managing what little money he had and was eventually thrown into debtor’s prison for awhile. Susanna and Charles were strong-willed and argued often. Susanna gave birth to a daughter during the election of 1705. A nurse who was caring for the child rolled over on her in the night and smothered the child to death. Susanna was grief-stricken. She was bed-ridden much of the time having to delegate responsibilities to her older children.
Her brother promised to give her a sizeable gift of money to ease the hardship in her life but he mysteriously disappeared never to be seen again. In 1731, Samuel had an accident. The horses stampeded, he fell from the wagon and he never regained his health.
What good could possibly come from such a difficult life? Susanna was the mother of two children who would one day be instrumental in changing all of England. Who can ever measure the amount of success John and Charles Wesley owed to the prayers of their godly mother? What was it that gave John Wesley the confidence to preach truth in the face of severe opposition and possible death? He had a mother who convinced him that he could do all things through Christ. He had a mother who loved him anyway when few others could muster any love for him. He had a mother who prayed for him aggressively, like a victor going off to war. He had a mother who patiently laid out the concepts that would construct his mind and develop his character like patiently placing bricks on a sturdy wall.
None were aware, perhaps not even John and Charles, that they were trumpeting the thoughts and words of their dear mother when John preached the word of God and Charles wrote some of the greatest hymns known to man. One woman invested in two sons. Two men founded the Methodist church and touched the lives of millions.
Be prayerful and careful, dear mothers. You have no idea how powerful your influence might be!!