14th January 2013

Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer, Pilgrim, Through The Year Ahead

“…Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”
atthew 19:14 NLT

Of the three small words ‘be’, ‘go’ and ‘do’, it’s ‘be’ that we have a natural tendency to take care of ourselves, depending on our own strengths to be great Christians, and the New Year can tempt us to make resolutions to be even better. The other two words, ‘go’ and ‘do’, often form the questions we ask God and a New Year can provoke us into focusing on these all too familiar concerns: what is his will for us, what should we do, where should we go; should we change our job, get married, buy a house, join a different church, serve somewhere in the community or go abroad and help out somewhere?

All New Years are the same: they reveal little about what lies ahead and highlight our inability to see the future. We should have got used to it by now. Back in the dark days of 1939, Britain faced a future far more uncertain than today’s as war spread over Europe, threatening to overrun the country and draw many other nations into conflict and death. With a New Year approaching, King George VI struggled through his speech impediments, and spoke live to the nation in his Christmas Broadcast. He ended, “A New Year is at hand. We cannot tell what it will bring. If it brings peace, how thankful we will all be. If it brings us continued struggle we shall remain undaunted. In the meantime I feel that we may all find a message of encouragement in the lines which, in my closing words, I would like to say to you:
‘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.”’
May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.”

Jesus said that no one can prise us out of his hand, and furthermore, no one can snatch us out of our all-powerful Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29 NLT). So as 2013 gets underway we don’t have to badger God about where to go or what to do. First of all let us just ‘be’ – be little children and put our hands up into the hand of God. It’s when we are safely walking hand in hand with him that we can look up and ask, ‘Father, where are we going? What are we going to do?’

And so we pray: Now to you who are able to keep us from stumbling, and to present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. (Jude 1:24-25 NKJV)

Study by Hilary Buck

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