Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Years Eve Message

by Anne Hamilton

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.” 

These lines by Minnie Haskins were made famous during the Second World War when George VI quoted them to encourage the people of Britain. Tomorrow is New Year’s Day: the gate of the year.

For most people it won’t be much different from any other day, except maybe for having spent tonight in sustained revelry. 

The thought of goal-setting or resolution-making is one most of us have dropped years ago. In fact, I’ve already been sent a couple of blog posts about why New Year’s Resolutions are a bad idea. Why set ourselves up for failure or disappointment? Why put ourselves under more pressure? Why try to perform in the face of inevitable frustration when we can rest in grace?


Of course, the flipside is we can’t achieve a goal unless we have one. We might protect ourselves from a letdown but we guarantee ourselves a lack of success – especially on the fronts that matter to us. (After all, we don’t usually make resolutions about unimportant things.) 

Instead of simply setting goals we’d like or that we think would be good, perhaps New Year’s Day is an amazing opportunity to spend some extra time with God, asking Him if there’s anything He’s got in mind for us to achieve this year. And how best to go about it. Perhaps we could even ask Him to hold our hands, just in case we stumble as we remember old disappointments, past failures and present pressures. 

And as we take His Hand, entering 2014, let’s rededicate ourselves and our writing to the Restorer of Hope who sits on the throne and says, ‘Behold, I make all things new!’ 

Happy New Year from Anne Hamilton and all the rest of the writers at the Australasian Christian Writers blog.


  1. Amen to all of that Annie. I've already had to open myself up to a new are of ministry for 2014 and can't do it unless God guides and holds my hand.

  2. Thanks, Dale. I echo those sentiments. Things have changed dramatically for me in the last few months and a new and very unexpected direction has opened up for me.

  3. Oh I do love that quote! Cannot think of anything more important. Thanks Annie, for the reminder of who we should seek and whose guidance we should seek rather than rely on setting our own goals.

    1. The full poem is titled: God Knows. Here it is:

      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.

    2. Had King George VI's message on a plaque in my bedroom at the Nurse's home for many years during my training, Anne. Never knew there was more to the poem. Thank you so much for this essential reminder.

    3. Hi Mary - it's great, isn't it? I remember seeing tiny plaques years ago too, but it's quite out of fashion now. But worth preserving.

  4. One good thing about a poor memory is I forget what new resolutions I was intending to do, see or resist. Thanks annie. My nature(?) is more in tune with seeing what comes to be tackled, entered or resisted than in detail plans. (Frustrates many in the family).Still God understands us all and I believe deals with us accordingly. So 2014 awaits and I haven't got a list....but i do have some dreams and hopes andprayer points. (Oh dear, is that like making a list?)

    1. I usually forget, too, Ray! But I find it interesting to look back on my blog posts of 12 months previously!

  5. Annie, great post! Seeking His guidance is wise advice. I'm a goal setter and looking at how to plan my schedule for 2014. Proposal writing features near the top of my list :) Happy New Year!

    1. Proposal-writing? Oh, you poor thing! Why aren't you asking for prayer?

    2. Annie, I actually quite like writing proposals that are story focussed (synopsis, 3 chapters, series outline etc.) I find the initial creative stage of story telling is inspiring and full of wonderful possibilities. I like plotting and outlining before I write the first draft, and I really enjoy the brainstorming stage. On the other hand, if I was a pantser I'd probably have a very different opinion of proposal writing :)

  6. Thank you Anne. May the Lord bless you as you seek Him.

    1. Thank you, Elaine. I look forward to more of your writing in 2014 as the 'fruits of Oxford' come to the fore.


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