Posts Tagged ‘Do the Next Thing’




When I started writing my new story, I knew the main characters names were Elizabeth and Meredith. I did not know their last name was Elliott. Nor did I realize what I had done—I gave one sister the same name as Elisabeth Elliot, wife of missionary Jim Elliot.


Rather than change the name, I decided—felt led—to keep the name and work the elder Mrs. Elliot into the story.


All that to say that my Elizabeth Elliott, Bethy, is fascinated with the missionary wife, and has as a reminder one of Mrs. Elliot’s sayings taped to the mirror in her bedroom.


Do the next thing.


I say all that to say that besides my own story, that phrase, Do the next thing, has come up several times recently. And when that happens, I believe Father God is using it to get my attention.




After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Elliot returned to the missionary post they had shared in the jungles of Ecuador. Besides being a mom of a toddler and a widow, responsibilities swirled around her, most of which had been her husband’s duties. Unsure how to even begin, she recalled—or, Father brought to her remembrance—an old Saxon legend, Do the next thing.


From that (as I understand the article I’ve read) she penned her poem, Do the Next Thing.


When life overwhelms us, do we not tend to scramble to get ALL the things done? Do we even, as Christians, feel we are called upon TO do all the things? I know I did, for many years.


I blogged about that last year.




Short-n-sweet post, but to the point.


In considering what the next thing is, it occurs to me that we as humans tend to, perhaps feel the need to, see the whole plan, to know every step along the way. And in some instances, it is necessary. Building a house is one example.


But that is not His way—that is not faith. Not in the day to day, moment to moment. Because relationship doesn’t work that way.




A couple of quotes come to mind:



We don’t always see—or hear—or know God’s plan. And perhaps we don’t know the next step. But praise is always timely. He is always worthy. And betimes, praise is what carries us through to the next “instruction.”


When we abide in Him, and are in relationship with Him, we know He is with us. Just as we know our earthly family and friends are with us, even when we don’t talk to them every day, or for days or weeks at a time.


Sometimes the next thing is monumental. An earth shattering leap of faith. Stepping out of the boat.


But sometimes, dare I say most times, the next thing is a simple task. Dusting or sweeping, holding your child’s hand while you walk to the school bus or into the store. Ironing a dress or shirt. Sometimes, the next thing is to sit in His presence.


I know, I know. That’s not really doing anything.


Ah! But it is. Sitting in Father’s presence is what we were created for. There is no higher “thing” to do.


And it is in those moments of doing “nothing,” sitting—not idly, not at all—basking in Him, fellowshipping with Him, that His still small voice clears through the rubble of the world, and whispers The Next Thing.


#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Do the Next Thing, Elisabeth Eliot

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