Quiet Desperation or Quiet Strength?

BY NORMA JOYCE DOUGHERTY

 

Quiet Desperation or Quiet Strength?

Much of humanity believes we are a desperate people living in a desperate world. But what creates this sense of desperation? I believe desperate people buy into the popular notion that God is dead. In so doing, desperate people lose a sense of identity, a sense of belonging, a sense of morality and absolute truth, and a sense of value in what is right or wrong.

If God is dead, desperate people think we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, despite consequences or impact on others.

These are heavy statements/questions—are they not? Yet I have learned through my own life experiences that these are questions each of us must individually seek to answer; and the answers must fill our heart, soul, and mind with such genuine, sincere persuasion that there is no room for doubt. For me, I have no doubt God exists and that it is his good pleasure that all come to believe this and know him personally.

There have been many desperate times throughout history when the world was filled with confusion and the people called the times evil, just like they do today. Where did they find meaning? Where did they find inspiration to carry on? One example really speaks to my heart.

A poem by Minnie Louise Haskins entitled “God Knows” and later entitled “The Gate of the Year” was quoted by King George VI at his 1939 Christmas broadcast to the British Empire. Its words became even more inspirational and brought much comfort to the masses during the early days of the Second World War… a desperate, evil time.

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.”

(See more of this poem on Wikipedia.)

So I ask, are we treading safely into the unknown? The unknown of Covid-19, the unknown of protests and social change? Have we stopped to ask the wise man who stands at the gate of the year for the right light? Are we willing to step bravely into the darkness to discover the better way? Have we slipped our hand into the Hand of God who gives us all the light and safety we need?

Don’t be afraid, because I am with you.
Don’t be intimidated; I am your God.
I will strengthen you.
I will help you.
I will support you with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Are we being upheld by the righteous Hand of God?


Norma Joyce Dougherty

God’s Word Mission Society welcomes Norma Joyce Dougherty, an inspirational speaker, an award-winning author, a leader of women’s Bible study groups, and a mentor to young women.

As a young woman and beauty queen, Norma Joyce experienced the glitz and glamour that society promotes. For this poor farm girl, beauty represented an escape to a better life. But, all that glitters is not gold. Struggling with many of the same issues that women in crisis deal with every day, she overcame her own identity issues by finding joy and contentment in God’s purpose for her life.

In Island Girl: A Triumph of the Spirit, Norma Joyce shares her story of overcoming adversity that is seen and inner struggles that are unseen.


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