Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do the next thing

One woman who has been a great inspiration to me throughout the years is Elisabeth Elliot. As a teenager I read her books as well as the books of those who inspired her. She introduced me to heroes of the faith such as Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, Jim Elliot. So when the opportunity arose as a young adult to hear her speak in my hometown, I was eager to meet this "mentor" of my mine. I took many notes that fall day over fifteen years ago which now are most forgotten, but four small words have never left my memory....

"Do the next thing."

Simple, yet profound, these words have echoed through my brain time and time again. You see, when Elisabeth found out her husband had been killed by the Auca Indians in South America, leaving her in the jungle alone with her toddler daughter, she cried out to God, "What am I to do, Lord? How am I to make it?" He gave her these four simple words...

"Do the next thing."

If you know her story, you know she became a part of bringing the light of the gospel and forgiveness to the very ones who massacred her husband and four other missionaries in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador. She wrote many books and published the memoirs of her late husband for all to be inspired by. She has spoken to large crowds and passed a legacy of evangelism on to the next generation. And she did all this by simply one motto...

"Do the next thing."

You see, I don't know what the future holds, whether the economy will collapse, whether I will even live to see my next day or even breath. I can't see how the big picture of my life will unfold, but I know that I am called to follow my Savior day by day, and moment by moment. When I cry out before him, "God, what does this look like?" You know what He says to me?

"Do the next thing."

What does the next thing look like? It may look as mundane and simple as laundry and dishes, or it may appear as challenging as giving up everything to live with the poor of this world in order to bring them the Kingdom. It may seem hard, overwhelming, unattainable, but when broken down it is simply...

"Do the next thing."

I don't have to worry about what tomorrow will bring.  I don't have to have it all figured out, for my Father who owns all things knows tomorrow. I simply move forward hand in hand, step by step, with Him who feeds even the sparrows while doing the ONE thing I know to do....

.....the next thing.

 (Image of fun shoes found at Anthropologie.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

"I AM with you, even to the ends of the earth....."

When a stay at home mom goes through a divorce, many thoughts whirl about her head as if the life she lives is sifted by a magnanimous tornado tearing apart every foundation lain the previous years.  The process of grief overwhelms the mind with questions of the past, present, and future sending the individual into a daze which sometimes lasts for weeks, even months.  When this takes place there is only One place to go , One solid foundation left unturned, One person to trust.  That One is He who knows all things before the foundations of the world, the I AM of eternity.  I AM walks alongside, not merely as God, but ultimately as friend.  Who is this I AM who is friend?  He is everything to the broken, the weak, the disheartened and overwhelmed.  He is:

healer   lover    counselor  friend   maker  provider   father guide  giver  restorer  redeemer mine    companion     leader     teacher   shield  shelter  deliverer  refuge   strength   comforter  husband    savior   light....

He is all consuming everything who meets every single need of every single soul, enabling a peace that passes ALL understanding to keep the heart and the mind of the one who listens to Him.  

So what is He to you today?  Write it down, make a list, or even keep a book of remembrance then teach it to your children so that you may never forget that I AM walks alongside you minute by minute, day after day in all of your days.