Viewpoint of Iain J Mair, executive director of GOOD NEWS for Everyone! (formerly Gideons UK)
The following words, from a poem written by the poet Minnie Louise Haskins, were quoted by HM King George VI in his 1939 Christmas message. It was a time when this nation faced the tremendous uncertainty of war.
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.
As another year gets underway, are you wondering what it will bring? Do you have lots of exciting plans, yet are worried that Covid will interrupt once again? How do you feel about the future? Excited? Nervous? Fearful? Worried? Uncertain? Maybe a mixture of all these.
In the book of Joshua in the Bible, we read of the Israelites about to cross the River Jordan and enter a new land. They were about to go where they had never been before. Most likely they were feeling a mixture of excitement and uncertainly. What were they to do? They had to trust God for the way ahead. By trusting God, they were promised, “Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before” (Joshua 3:4). None of us have been this way before; 2022 is a new experience for all of us. In prayer, we can put our hand into the hand of God for it.
Throughout the Bible we read of many instances of people being uncertain about the future.
Just before He returned to heaven, Jesus famously assured His disciples, and by extension all who believe in Him to the present day
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
There is little doubt we are living in uncertain times. There may be uncertainty in your personal life – employment, business, family, health. We all face challenges in life, but we can trust God for guidance and help for whatever circumstances we face. The words of a hymn remind us of the confidence we can have in God: “I know who holds the future”.
A year or so ago my wife and I were in Peru on a mission trip. In the area we visited we witnessed incredible poverty, people with few material things, and very few of the amenities that we take for granted. As you begin each day, as well as taking time to ask the Lord for His help and guidance, remember to give thanks to Him for the wonderful joys and blessings that we have received.
Iain J Mair is the executive director of GOOD NEWS for Everyone! (formerly Gideons UK), which is based in Lutterworth.