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Pain, grief, and discouragement all have a way of making us want to do nothing.  They isolate us, weary us, and immobilize us. We think that if we stay idle and rest awhile, things will get better. While sleep and rest are good and healthy, don’t be confused into thinking that you’re to remain in a place of nothingness. Sometimes the best thing to do is to do the next thing. Do the next thing. That’s right.

One of my heroes in the faith is Elisabeth Elliot. Married to Jim Elliot, Elisabeth suffered significant loss through the martyrdom of her husband in 1956.   Through her losses, the Body of Christ received amazing gains.

An important lesson I learned from Elisabeth Elliot was to do the next thing. I needed to get up and shower or do the dishes or mow the lawn. After the loss of our son Eddie, I didn’t want to do anything. Nothing. That was a very unhealthy place to be. But I can hear Elisabeth say, “Do the next thing, Ed.”

Elisabeth learned this truth from the poem below. Although the author is unknown, the truth contained therein is well known. From this old English poem, we learned the importance of doing the next thing.

Please, friend, decide today to do the next thing. Right now.

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, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours 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, 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 resultings. DO THE NEXT THING

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering) be thy 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.

One Comment

  • Robert Neal says:

    Ah man, Brother! It breaks my heart…to hear of your son’s passing! And with that said…I’m blessed to have read this! Thank you Pastor! You’re Guided to feed a lot of people! And I’m definitely one of them! I appreciate your service to our Lord! And to us…His Body! I Pray for you all! I never mean to bother you Brother! I’m one…who’s Guided to share what God…The Holy Spirit’s doing through you…other Pastors…and other believers! We we’re blessed to attend a few different Calvary Chapels…and I can’t not share, what He’s brought, through y’all! And every now and again…I share what He’s putting in my heart! I’m on fire for Him…in His Triune Existence! You’re a blessing Brother! Simply…and Profoundly…that! I know Who’s Guiding you! And just as importantly…so do you! God’s Grace be upon you and your Family! In Jesus Christ’s Almighty Name! Amen! ✝️❤️

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