Quiet Desperation or Quiet Strength?
Several people think we are a desperate people living in a desperate world. But what creates this sense of desperation? I believe desperate people buy into the popular notion that God is dead. In so doing desperate people lose a sense of identity, a sense of belonging, a sense of morality and absolute truth, and a sense of value in what is right or wrong. If God is dead, desperate people think we can do whatever we want, whenever we want despite consequences or impact on others.
These are heavy statements/questions are they not? Yet I have learned through my own life’s experiences that these are questions each of us must individually seek to answer; and the answers must fill our heart, soul, and mind with such genuine, sincere persuasion that there is no room for doubt. For me, I have no doubt God exists and that it is his good pleasure that all come to believe this and know him personally.
There have been many desperate times throughout history when the world was filled with confusion and the people called the times evil, just like they do today. Where did they find meaning? Where did they find inspiration to carry on? One example really speaks to my heart.
A poem by Minnie Louise Haskins entitled “God Knows” and later entitled “The Gate of the Year” was quoted by King George VI at his 1939 Christmas broadcast to the British Empire. Its words became even more inspirational and brought much comfort to the masses during the early days of the Second World War…a desperate, evil time.
THE GATE OF THE YEAR
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.”
(See more of this poem on Wikipedia)
So I ask, are we treading safely into the unknown? The unknown of Covid-19, the unknown of protests and social change? Have we stopped to ask the wise man who stands at the gate of the year for the right light? Are we willing to step bravely into the darkness to discover the better way? Have we slipped our hand into the Hand of God who gives us all the light and safety we need?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV).