Lately I’ve been doing a little more research into my family tree. My father’s family was part of the Great Migration of Puritans fleeing England in the 1630-1640’s, settling in the unknown wilderness of the New World, seeking a place where they might freely worship God. As I was reading some history yesterday, I was struck by the bigger picture of it all: how different people were there “for such a time as this”. They were at the right place at the right time and willing to walk into the unknown, only trusting that they were following the path God had for them.
People throughout Europe were searching for more of God. Men such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox, and Jan Huss were walking down such paths, standing against the imperfections of the Catholic church, often to the peril of their life. The stage was set. The printing press had been invented, allowing anyone who wished to read the scriptures to do so. Each person had their place and their job to do, if they were willing. As a woman labouring to give birth, a new age was struggling to be born by blood, sweat, and tears.
I was reminded of a poem I shared a year ago, God Knows by Minnie Louise Haskins. My favourite part 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.
It is a mixture of simplicity, yet difficulty, for us to trust God to lead us down unknown paths. We can play it safe and live mediocre lives, or we can put our full trust in the One Who knows the end from the beginning and step through the open door that lays before us. When we have faith and trust as a little child who implicitly trusts his father, we will find ourselves walking hand in hand with Him down the path that will fulfill our part to play, big or small, of God’s plan.
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.