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.
**Old Anonymous Poem as told by Elisabeth Elliot / Photo by Tara Winstead at Pexels
By and by when I look on His face, Beautiful face, thorn-shadowed face; By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I had given Him more More, so much more — More of my love than I e’er gave before. By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I had given Him more.
By and by when He holds out His hands, Welcoming hands, nail riven hands; By and by when He holds out His hands, I’ll wish I had given Him more. More, so much more, More of my love than I e’er gave before, By and by when He holds out His hands, I’ll wish I had given Him more.
In the light of that heavenly place, Light from His face, beautiful face; In the light of that heavenly place, I’ll wish I had given Him more. More, so much more, Treasures unbounded for Him I adore, By and by when I look on His face, I’ll wish I had given Him more.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4
~ By Grace Reese Adkins / Photo by Sebastian Voortman at Pexels
E.H. Hamilton, a Presbyterian missionary to China, wrote the poem below to reflect upon and commemorate the martyrdom of his fellow missionary J.W. Vinson (1880-1931). In October 1931, as Vinson visited some believers 18 miles from his mission station, the area was overwhelmed by a group of 600 bandits. Vinson was taken hostage along with around 150 others. Offered freedom if he would write a letter to the commanding officer of government troops telling them to withdraw, Vinson declined “unless all the hostages are released”. The bandit chief refused and Vinson was shot and killed. His decapitated body was later found by Edward Currie, and he was buried in the small missionary cemetery in Haichow.
As his captors prepared to execute Vinson, waving a gun in his face they asked him, “Are you afraid?”. A girl who witnessed the event later testified that Vison replied, “No. If you shoot, I go straight to heaven.” This incident inspired E.H. Hamilton to write his poem.
Afraid? Of what? To feel the spirit’s glad release? To pass from pain to perfect peace, The strife and strain of life to cease? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? Afraid to see the Saviour’s face, To hear His welcome, and to trace, The glory gleam from wounds of grace, Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? A flash – a crash – a pierced heart; Brief darkness – Light – O Heaven’s art! A wound of His a counterpart! Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? To enter into Heaven’s rest, And yet to serve the Master blessed? From service good to service best? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? To do by death what life could not – Baptise with blood a stony plot, Till souls shall blossom from that spot? Afraid? Of that?
Poem by E.H. Hamilton
By webtruth.org / Photo Great wall of China by Tom Fisk at pexels