Lead, Kindly Light
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30:21)
‘Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on.’ So begins one of Cardinal John Henry Newman’s famous hymns, written over a century ago. He was expressing his faith that, though the way ahead may not always seem clear, he was confident that God would lead him - a confidence based on the sure promises of the Scriptures.
All of us face times when we have to make decisions about the way ahead. Some of those decisions are ordinary and run-of-the-mill; but some are much more significant, even life-changing. It can be easy to feel somewhat paralyzed at such times, overwhelmed by the possibilities or the uncertainties. That’s when it’s good to remember two things: First, that God wants to guide us. The constant testimony of Scripture is that God loves his people and guides his people. Even with an unknown wilderness ahead of them that they needed to cross, Moses and Miriam could sing, ‘In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed’ (Exodus 15:13). And God really wants to guide us too!
Second, that God knows all the ‘what ifs…’ of life. Sometimes we can be paralysed by thinking, ‘But what if this ….’ or ‘What if that …?’. That’s when it’s good to remember that God, who is outside of time, knows all the ‘what ifs’ of life. He already knows all the possibilities and conceivable options – and he has a plan ‘up his sleeve’ for every one of them! We may not be able to see around the corner, but God can! That’s why we can be sure that he will guide us and that, as long as we are seeking to follow him, even if we get it wrong, he is the God who ‘causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God’ (Romans 8:28, NLT).
Whatever decisions you need to make, whatever uncertainties may lie ahead, God will be your kindly light. Simply claim his promises of guidance – then trust him!
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:14)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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