Early spring in our yard is messy. We live in a snow belt, and most of our property lies buried in more than a couple of feet of snow all winter.  When milder weather melts the snow, we find vole tracks snaking across the grass, mole mounds that resemble huge dung heaps and holes everywhere.

It’s hard to believe that things will be beautiful in a month or two.

Because my stamina is poor and I have many weak days when I’m unable to work outside, spring clean-up can feel really daunting.  I wish hours of fresh air and vigorous work were within my abilities… but… they’re not.  So I do a little bit at a time, on days when I can handle this.

Which brings to mind an old, old poem – one that offers good advice for those overwhelming and anxious moments when we can’t immediately fix everything we want to set right.  I hope the gist of the words comforts you, as it does me, in spite of the old-style language.


 

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 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.

2 Thoughts on “Do The Next Thing”

  • Beautiful poem Holly. I shared it with my family and they all added a hearty “mmm hmmm” at the end of each phrase.

    What is the title? And do you know who the author is?

    • I’m glad to hear that you and your family enjoyed the poem, Elise. I found it on http://www.thegospelcoalition.org with this notation: Years ago, Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015) popularized an old poem—the commonsense simplicity and clarity of which have encouraged many anxious and weary saints.

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