Hymn text by Orson Pratt Huish, 1851-1932. View the full text of this hymn.

When my husband served a mission in east Germany, his dad sent him a copy of the poem “The Gate of the Year” by Minnie Louise Haskins. It begins like this:

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.

This little poem sums up the last two years of our family’s life so perfectly it hurts my feelings a little bit.  It was as if my husband and I stood before that same gate and asked for a light–a flashlight, an oil lamp, anything–to guide us where we should go. The way seemed hopelessly dark and we were sure we would lose our way.

“Take my hand,” the Lord said to us. We balked at this direction, clamoring for familiarity over faith. For months and months we wandered, blindly feeling our way along the path and wondering when things would finally get better.

When tears bedim my eyes,
Guide me to thee.
When hopes are crushed and dead,
When earthly joys are fled,
Thy glory round me shed.
Guide me to thee.

When we finally reached out to Him, the blessings were immediate. He gave us confidence in our decisions and peace in our trials. But most importantly, we found our path illuminated.

E’en in the darkest night,
As in the morning bright,
Be thou my beacon light.
Guide me to thee.
Putting our hand in His seems like such a small thing, but then again the Lord asks for a lot of small things. Read your scriptures, pray, climb this mountain, wash in the river Jordan, look at this bronzed serpent. He is merely trying to smooth out the path for all of us, to guide us all back to Him.

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