‘Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me.” …The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”’ Exodus 33:12, 14
Moses faced a daunting prospect: leading the Israelites into the Promised Land to take possession of it. It would be dangerous. They would face fierce enemies. And Moses knew he, himself, would not be allowed to enter the land at all. He also knew that if God was with them, it changed everything. So Moses prays in v15, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
That sentiment is captured in Minnie Haskins’ poem ‘The Gate of the Year’:
“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 better than light, and safer than a known way.’”
King George VI quoted this poem in his Christmas Day message of 1939. As he spoke, the country – even the world – was facing the darkest of times and there was no guarantee of brighter days coming soon. Through his message, the King reassured his people that there was still hope, whatever 1940 was to bring.
80 years have been and gone since then. 2020 is over and few of us will regret seeing it retreat into the past. But we greet 2021 with uncertainty. How long will the pandemic last? How long will it be before life returns to something approaching normal? And how exactly will Brexit affect us? In the midst of uncertainty, we can draw comfort from the truth that God is with us. We may not know what is coming this year or even this week, but God walks with us and we know we can trust him to guide us.
As the new year begins, we pray for each of our supporters, Ambassadors and project partners; that you will know peace in uncertainty, hope in darkness, and joy in grief and loss. We may still have dark days ahead, but we put our hands in the Hand of God and we know his presence with us changes everything.