Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Dark Gate

In 1939, Hitler's armies marched across Europe, and England's future looked very dark. On Christmas Day, a week before the beginning of the new year, King George VI addressed his people and urged them to have faith and to trust in God. He quoted them a poem, the story of which is basically this:

A man was standing in front of a gate, which represented the new year. It looked very dark inside the gate. An angel stood next to the man, and the man said to the angel, "It is awfully dark in there. I can't see anything through the gate. Give me a light so that I may tread safely into the unknown."

The angel 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. Enter through the gate into the new year without fear. The Lord will be with you."

So the man went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And God led him toward the hills and the breaking of day.

The future can indeed be very dark sometimes. The news is full of frightening prognostications. Whether we are entering into a new year or a new day or a new experience, what we need to do is to put our hand into the Hand of God, have faith in Him, and trust Him completely. Then we can enter into the future without fear, knowing that He is with us.

The Apostle Paul had come to the last days of his life. He was alone and in prison, awaiting his execution for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the midst of those trying circumstances he wrote what was probably the last letter he would pen to his son in the faith and coworker in the ministry, Timothy. Was he disheartened? Was he depressed? No! In that hour he could write words that would ring down through the centuries and encourage all those who read them:

Are you in a dark place today? Do you know that same certainty that Paul knew? You can As the old gospel song says, simply "put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the waters." He is standing right there beside you with His hand outstretched, just waiting for you to slip your hand into His. He knows the way. He's walked it himself. And He will guide you safely Home.

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