Thursday, December 30, 2010
A Poem for the New Year--2011
A British soldier of the Northhampton Regiment spent much of World War II in prisoner of war camps. During his many trials he was comforted by a short poem written by Mary Gardiner Brainard:
NEW YEAR’S DAY
I see not a step before me
As I tread on another year,
But I’ve left the past in God’s keeping
The future his mercy shall clear,
And what looks dark in the distance
May brighten as I draw near.
The soldier wrote in his diary:
Through the difficult days of captivity this verse was constantly before me, suggesting, as it did, a brighter path in the distance, to which the course of time—with faith—must ultimately lead me. The full beauty of these words came to me at the close of my last hour of freedom.
This poem is appropriate for any day, but is especially perfect for the first day of the year. This is the time to look forward and not back. The past cannot be changed no matter how hard we wish it, and is truly in God’s hands. Neither do we know what lies ahead, and it is just as useless to worry about that. Jesus’ instruction on this point is crystal clear: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:34) What we can do is concentrate on our actions in the present and look forward to the future with a joyful hope. Even though we have problems looming ahead, we don’t have to face them alone. Our Savior walks with us and guarantees us the strength to endure and to overcome. There is no darkness that will stand against the light of his presence.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:5,7)
(This story is from a daily devotional in Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from World War II)