Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Make It Through Today

Tuesday's topic is Single Living, aka The New Normal. What's the next step? How can we to make it through a day, fix a flat tire, mend a broken heart . . . how can we keep on keeping on?

Elisabeth Elliot is a woman I hope all widows will take an interest in. Her first husband was killed along with four other missionaries early in their marriage as they tried to make contact with a fierce Indian tribe in the Amazon rainforest. (See the movie End of the Spear). Many years later she remarried Addison Leitch, and he died of cancer after four years. She again remarried, and though well past retirement age she continues to minister with her husband, Lars Gren.

Time after time, Elisabeth will testify, the following poem came to her mind to help her through the day. For more information on this poem, click here for the manuscript from her radio program.

But for today, when it's difficult enough to decide which shoe goes on which foot, just "Do the next thing." Let me know if there's anything in particular I can pray about for you, too. ferree
At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
That, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all 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, 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 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, do the next thing.
What's the next thing for you today? Wash the dishes? Make a doctor appointment? Drop the kids off at school? There's blessing and healing in the mundane and daily routine. Cherish the moments
. . . and God keep you step by step today.


  1. Thank you Ferree. It's been 4 months since my husband died and I feel I haven't done anything other than just survive. I usually feel like we haven't done enough especially with our homeschool. It's hard for me to accept that it's ok if we don't get everything done or me cook something good everyday, etc. That it's ok just to do the next thing.

  2. Surviving is quite an accomplishment! People don't realize all the energy it can take. Doing the next thing is a handy prescription---and it's quite an accomplishment too. In these early months of grief there's a lot to juggle Mari. Although you might not feel like you're on top of everything, it sounds like you're doing really well in the face of many challenges.

  3. I like this thought "Do the next thing". I will put this on a post it note on my keyboard. A good reminder.


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