Charles Wesley Naylor was born in southern Ohio in the year 1874. He grow up in the hills of Ohio and West Virginia where he was raised by his grandparents. At the age of nineteen he “saw the church” and became a part of the Church of God movement. He was injured in 1908 in Florida while moving timbers from under a meeting tent. He suffered a dislocated kidney and other internal injuries. Then a year later he was in a bus accident that left him an invalid for the rest of his life. His injuries did not stop him from contributing to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. From his bed of infirmity he become a prolific writer. He redeemed his time by writing eight books, many articles, pamphlets and a regular column for the Gospel Trumpet magazine. The hymns and gospel songs he wrote are a masters class in practical doctrine.
The poetic words of his hymn I’ll Follow With Rejoicing show the doctrinal truth that we follow the One with eternity in His hand. We don’t need to know what the future holds because we follow the One who holds the future!
When we look forward into an uncertain future we often see impassable obstacles in our way. But when we follow Christ closely eventually we look back on the impassable and see the clear path He lead us through.
The future lies unseen ahead,
It holds I know not what;
But still I know I need not dread,
For Jesus faileth not.
I’ll follow Him with rejoicing,
With rejoicing, rejoicing;
I know He safely will lead me
To my eternal home.
Doth He not know what I shall meet
Upon life’s rugged way?
Will He not guide my halting feet,
Lest from the path I stray?
No matter how things look to me,
Nor if they threaten sore;
I know my way prepared shall be,
For Christ leads on before.
May we see Christ clearly so that we may follow Him closely.
The Downing Family