Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do The Next Thing

What do you do when you face a crisis?

Cry? Pray? Scream? Stress? Worry?

Elisabeth Elliot faced a crisis when her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed while they lived in a remote jungle village as missionaries. Elisabeth tells of wondering what she should do after getting the news. She had a 10-month-old baby to care for and a village of new believers. She was left without a husband, her baby without a dad and the villagers without a leader.

In Elisabeth's writings she references the following poem as something that guided her during a time of crisis. So whether it's unwanted waiting, moments of madness, deep despair, unexpected chaos, 
crazy days of motherhood,or life-changing crisis, we can all take guidance from the wise words of Do The Next Thing.

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “Do the Next Thing.”
Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.
Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.
Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be they demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then as He beckons thee, do the next thing.

I've linked to an Elisabeth Elliott newsletter. It includes the Do The Next Thing poem as well as some of her thoughts on waiting...I thought it was worth the read.

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