Restoration: Peering Into the Future

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Peering Into the Future

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One night I was drawn through the halls and into a parlor by the sounds of Celtic music performed by a small troupe for the benefit of the lodgers. That night a warm fire, soothing music and a friendly crowd formed a shield to the cold, autumn winds outside. When the entertainment concluded, I paused to look at a group of pictures on the walls and noticed one frame containing what looked like a poem.

It turned out to be a poem written in 1908 that was part of a broadcast made by England’s King George VI at the end of 1939, just three months into World War II. Here is the portion of the poem the king quoted to the Commonwealth nations:

"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’" (Minnie Louise Haskins, "God Knows".

That night I copied those words into my personal journal and have kept them ever since. When I read them, I am reminded of the true source of strength for each of us in time of doubt and fear. Perhaps they have immediacy each year in the midst of dark winter. From the long, cold nights we peer into the future looking for warmer, brighter days. But no matter when we face a moment of trial and suffering, these words point us to a sure way forward. It is with our confidence and trust placed firmly in the hand of God. From Him alone comes the true light and safety. We may think we know a better way, but if God is guiding our path, then in the end the path by which He leads will prove to be the better way.

Every year The Economist magazine publishes a special issue looking ahead to the new calendar year. They try to forecast trends in politics, business and world events. Like all prognostications, they have a mixed record of accuracy. No one really can tell exactly what lies ahead, but their special issue is always an interesting read. In world events, no one can predict what the future will bring. Looking back, we can always see what has occurred, but not always with clear understanding.

In World News and Prophecy, there is one biblical principle we clearly know. "He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him" (Daniel 2:21-22).

There are times in world events when God waves His hand over history, and events take place that confound the wise. With the events of recent months, I believe we are living in such a time. Only God knows where they will lead. He gives us the broad outline and a few enticing details in the Bible. We write our articles based on those sure words, seeking to help you understand the challenging time in which we live.

Until Christ restores His perfect way and guides the nations with His loving hand, we do well to remember the words of David: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1). We have access to the Good Shepherd who guides and leads us to the good pastures of life, even when we lose our way or don’t quite see the end of where our walk with God is leading. WNP

(This article is reprinted from the January 2004 issue.)