Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do The Next Thing

About twelve years ago I had the privilege of meeting Elisabeth Elliot who has been an
incredible Titus 2 example to me.
She has taken to memorizing many passages of scripture, poems, and songs.
Among the many that she shared with us was one that I have continued to pass on to many others. It is a source of great encouragement to women of all ages.


From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message for 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 to 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.
(source unknown)

I woke up this morning feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of projects on my to-do list before heading out the door on a six week tour of the U.S.
I was already having a hard time organizing my thoughts and needs when I was informed that the water main to our house had just been busted as we were trying to build an arbor for our grapes.
At one point I just collapsed on the bed in tears as I dealt with the extra pressure of life's demands. This was not grief. This was not pity. It was exhaustion. I am pretty faithful in casting all my cares on Him but lately I have allowed a few to escape and build up a good deal of pressure. Nothing like a few tears to wash away any notions of strength. I am weak. BUT, He is strong. A dear friend texted me today these few words "He is with you". Simple and yet powerful truth. Not the sappy, Oprah god but the Creator of the Universe who has sovereignly detailed my coming and going. His strength is perfect.
One of the greatest lessons to be learned on this earth is doing that next thing that God asks of us. Hence the reason why the above poem is such a treasure.


Renee said...


I have been reading your blog for a while now....and I just wanted to thank you for posting this.

I often have a hard time doing the next thing? I know that I need to move forward and trust God but....I guess I am afraid?

God is so wonderful giving me Peace and with His perfect strength...I hope to try to do the next thing:)

Much Love,


Nan said...

What a beautiful and awesome poem. I love poetry (not sure if you read the one I put up on my blog a week or so before Easter.) If only more Christians would live this way. Many Christians it seems sadly have let the fact that providence exists (no argument there) keep them from doing and acting in faith because they are waiting for obvious and glaring neon signs from God. My husband likes to counsel, "Are you trusting? Obeying? Seeking him in prayer as you go? Then don't be afraid to actually LIVE!" I think a lot of people believe "waiting on Him" is meant to keep us from doing anything until we get a neon sign.

I don't know about you... Rarely have I ever gotten one of those neon signs but many times I have moved forward in faith knowing that doing nothing is not always (though yes, sometimes it is) God's idea of faithful trust and obedience.

Thanks for sharing this poem and your thoughts!

NYLass said...

The truth to this post almost deserves a larger font.

Back (a very many years ago) when I worked with downs and mentally challenged adults, my co-worker (who was also Christian) and I would discuss how to be examples of Christ at work. We often noted how complicated we made things and how simple God's love is.

Thank you again for the beautiful way that you point to Christ.

CristyLynn said...

Thank you, Heather for this post. Much needed! We're praying for your trip.

Emily said...

Hi Mrs. Davis,
Emily S. from Colorado here. Hope you are doing well! I am always encouraged by your posts. You trust in the Lord so much and are a good example to me. I hope the Lord continues to sustain and uphold you,
In Christ's Love,

Sue said...

I love your blog, and I love your strength, but I was disapointed at your "sappy Oprah god" comment. He is here for you in the way that gives you strength, and He is there for Oprah in the way that she needs him to be, and he is here for me in the way that I need him to be.

One person's sappy can be another person's salvation. We should respect, and praise Him for that.

Anonymous said...


It is exciting to see you growing and moving in a new direction. God is walking with you every step of the way.

I agree with you about Oprah & Eckhart Tolle's definition of god.

I will take my God any time.


Brazen Hussey's said...


Thanks for your post. Interestingly, one thing that stuck out to me was your comment about Oprah's god vs. the God of the Bible. But, in the exact opposite way that Sue described.

Heather you were right. Oprah's god is impotent, because it is one that she created in her own image. Sue, the God of the Bible is not a friend to Oprah. He does not give her strength. What He will give her is judgement. That will either be laid on the back of His Son if she repents and trusts in Him, or she will pay by spending eternity in hell.

I know this post was in no way meant to start a controversy over Oprah. But, I am disturbed over the American worship of Oprah. She, and her false gospel, are leading so many people away from the God of the Bible.

Have a great trip Heather! Keep doing the next thing. As you walk towards Him, you are spuring us on to do the same.

(If you don't want to publish this, or want to remove it, that is okay with me. :)


Lazy D Ranch said...

Oprah's god is not the God I serve. The God of the Scriptures does not bend to our ideals or change to become what we might "need" in the moment. We MUST bend our will to His ways...obeying His laws and worshiping Him in the way that He commands.
Oprah's god is a mystical combination of many different religions. Those who follow her are following a false religion.
There is only one way to God - through the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.
Also, no one can find comfort, peace, or strength outside of the One True Living God. Only condemnation and judgment come to those who choose to not follow the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone.

I make no apologies for my faith but instead feel obligated to admonish and hopefully encourage you to search the scripture for the Truth found only in Jesus Christ.