THE GATE OF THE YEAR
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
by Minnie Louise Haskins
I am taking this opportunity to offer words of encouragement in this time of fear and panic. Please, do not let it overwhelm you. Our scripture reminds us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). And though we walk through this valley of shadow, God is with us and if we use common sense, care for our neighbour, and consider others in public places we will come through.
I ask you to consider these promises and hold them close at this time:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (NIV)
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (NLT)
We do not know how this is all going to resolve itself. What we do know is that for the moment there is opportunity to stop and appreciate the beauty that is around us … to do those tasks that we never get around to, to read, to listen, to pray, to be still … and none of that can be bad. So move forward each day in faith knowing that your God is with you and whatever happens you are in God’s hands.
May grace, peace and love be your experience day by day.
NATIONAL PRESIDENT AUSTRALIAN CHURCH WOMEN Inc.
Minnie Haskin’s poem was used by King George VI to conclude his Christmas message in 1939, almost four months after the Second World War began.
The latter half of the king’s message is available on YouTube at:
(NLT) New Living Translation
(NIV) New International Version