Church Girl Blog

New Year’s Reflection by Heather Kim

by | Jan 5, 2018 | A CHURCH Life, Guest Authors

Confession. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I’m not against them. I just fail at them. I’ve had the same one for a few years. I still haven’t accomplished it (and it would be so easy to!) Hint: trying so many new recipes a month. (and my goal is really, really low.) But that’s okay. I feed my family while I marvel at my friends with recipe boards on Pinterest. I admire them. It’s just not me. I call the ‘goal’ more like a New Year’s ‘suggestion.’

But here’s what I do hold as tradition. My New Year’s Eve Poem. I didn’t write it (it was penned in 1908). I just love it and read it every year. Here’s the famous highlight:

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.”

Isn’t that wonderful? I discovered this gem when I was at Windsor Castle as a college student. It jumped out at me from King George’s Chapel. ‘Put my hand in the hand of God. That is safer than a known way.’

img_1959Young Princess Elizabeth loved it too. She shared the poem with her father King George (who we know as P&P’s Mr. Darcy a.k.a. Colin Firth in The King’s Speech). He quoted it in the 1939 Christmas broadcast to the British Empire, and it encouraged the masses in the early days of World War II.

It can encourage us still today.

Often we want to see God’s long range plan, to glimpse the entire path. However, He doesn’t usually share that. He wants us to trust him.

Psalm 119:105 enlightens us “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Imagine how much illumination an ancient lantern would show on a path – just enough for the next step or two.

img_1962Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts us to do something – to text an estranged friend, to invite a family member to church. God doesn’t tell us the long-range plan or promise us glory or reconciliation. He wants us to simply obey and take. The. Next. Step.

Maybe God is prompting us to take the next step inwardly. Read a chapter of My Word. Don’t take that next drink. Trust me. 

Go out into the darkness. Our hand in the Hand of God is safer than a known way. We can trust God’s best for us.

Now, not to put a wrench into this lovely simple truth but a favorite quote from C.S. Lewis comes to mind.

“We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

If I’m honest with myself, that’s what keeps me from putting my hand in the Hand of God, so to speak. What if I fail or am rejected by the person I reach out to, or go through trouble for nothing, etc. etc.?

And yet what pain is there, really? When has God let me down–truly? Well, there was the time of unanswered prayer, when my friend died. That was painful. I’m still heartbroken…

Maybe I should read the rest of 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.”
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.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

Do you have kids in your life? Have you held a child’s hand while crossing the street? Sometimes they think they can do it on their own and sometimes they just hold on tight without a struggle. My girls are 8, 11, and 14 and I still put out my hand when going through a busy parking lot.  They are supposed to hold on if my hand is extended. They can be clueless to what’s around them – no matter how much I warn. Other times they know the drill. Once, when I was cautioning my youngest to look both ways, she sighed, “Mom, I know. You tell me this every time.”

Do I remember this lesson with my Heavenly Father? Do I hold His hand?

This past year was crazy–crazier than usual with world-wide events and close-to-home disasters. Who knows what 2018 will hold?

What’s that old line? “I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future.”img_1957

Heather lives a few blocks down from her friend The Church Girl. She really does want to try new recipes this year welcomes your suggestions… or poetry!

 Verses for encouragement

Proverbs 3:5-6

Genesis 12:1-5

Isaiah 30:21