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Thought for the Week – 1st January 2023

God Knows

This is the original title of the poem “The Gate of the Year”, first written by Minnie Louise Haskins in 1908. Her first version is barely known, but in 1912 she added the introduction about the Gate of the Year; this was quoted by King George V in his 1939 Christmas broadcast as the country was in the early stages of the Second World War and it has been famous ever since. Haskins was very talented woman; she wrote the poem whilst serving as a missionary and subsequently became an academic at the London School of Economics. The poem gives a traditional response to times of challenge and uncertainty.

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

Rev David Poyner