At the gate of the year

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In his Christmas speech to the people of Great Britain in 1939, as the dark clouds of war brought fear to many, King George VI quoted these lines from the poem “God Knows” by Minnie Louise Haskins…

“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.’”

Joshua stood at the brink of a great unknown. Moses had just announced that he would not be leading the way across the Jordan River into the promised land. The people would now be led by Joshua. Moses told Joshua, in the presence of all the people, to be strong and courageous. Then he said these words to Joshua. And they are words we can take to heart as we face a new year with its unknowns:

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV