Saturday, March 9, 2013

Do the Next Thing

Ever feel like your to-do list is unending and the piles of work keep getting bigger? Sometimes these piles are the 5 plus loads of laundry I'm working on today, or the overflowing sink of dishes. Sometimes these piles are figurative, like the gazillion papers littering my countertop, all representing some sort of task I need to complete. Sometimes these piles are emotional and spiritual, like the many prayer requests and ministry needs I'm aware of.

Elisabeth Elliot is well-known for advising us in these situations with the simple statement: just "do the next thing".

Sometimes when we look around us and see so much need, it can be almost paralyzing. We don't know where to our lives, with our daily tasks and relationships; or in the lives of others, with the countless ministry opportunities that exist in our fallen world.

I recently heard another great perspective on facing tasks that are overwhelming and seemingly unending. In an interview with David Platt at the Church at Brookhills on October 16, 2011 missionary Katie Davis shares how she deals with the knowledge that there is way more work in this world than she can do:

"The need is so great, so great. That there is this woman on my porch who we can get the fluid in her and we can get her to the hospital so that she is ok, but ten minutes away there is someone who was unable to get to the hospital for their medical care on time and they died. And I can feed this hungry person in front of me, but ten minutes away there is a child who is starving to death. And so, [its] hard to reconcile. God is still good, God is still Sovereign and [He's] in that moment and with that person. And I think that He's just really confirmed for me over the course of the year 'you be faithful in the little; you be obedient to the person that I've put in front of you and I will be faithful in the much; I will be faithful in the big.' So as a family and as a person, we just serve the one person or the two or three people that He's putting in front of us for that day and just trust Him to take care of the rest. And He's been so faithful to multiply and multiply that."

You can read more about Katie Davis and her life and ministry in Uganda at It is worth the time! You will be blessed!

And in the meantime, let's pray today for contentment in serving the one or two people God has called us to. Let's pray for wisdom and faithfulness in the small work He's given us, and do it with joy. What's your "next thing"?  By God's grace and through His power, let's do it!

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