Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What next?

I love Elisabeth Elliot's writing.  I have great admiration and respect for this godly woman who models courage, strength and wisdom.  I imagine most of you know her story, but if not, please do yourself a favor and get acquainted with her work.

Years ago, at a conference where she was speaking, I heard her reference an old Saxon legend and a poem that had been written about the legend.  Within that poem are words that have been of great help to me at various times in my life.  Here is the poem:

"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 a fear,
Many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, 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 reverance, 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, even 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 -
Do the next thing.

I am particularly touched by the second stanza of this old poem....the writer has reminded me once again of the "quieting" of fears and doubts....the quiet heart that is mine when I am abiding in the presence of my King.

                              "Do the next thing." ~ Elisabeth Elliot, quoting from the poem.

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