ENDURANCE – is the prize worth it?

Endurance rewardedHe counted the cost.  He considered the result well worth the unpleasantness, the discomfort and the danger.

John James Audubon (1785-1851) was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter, most famous for his collection of paintings of birds.  His precision was such that his books are still used today as field guides and resources.

John Audubon practiced great self-mastery in order to learn all he could about birds. A colleague said of him  “Mr Audubon is the most enthusiastic and indefatigable man I ever knew.  He was never dispirited by heat, fatigue, or bad luck.”

To study nighthawks, he discounted his physical comforts as nothing. He rose at midnight night after night, to go into the swamps to study nighthawks in their natural environment. He crouched motionless in the dark and fog, hoping to discover just one more fact about the species. One summer he stood almost to his neck in smelly, stagnant water, scarcely breathing, in order to observe a shy water bird, while poisonous water moccasin snakes swam past.

It certainly wasn’t pleasant or comfortable, but when questioned by a reporter, he said, “But what of that? I have the picture!!!” 

John Audubon endured all these things and much more for the sake of a picture of a bird.

If a man can be so disciplined for such a comparatively flimsy reward
HOW MUCH MORE COMMITTED SHOULD WE CHRISTIANS BE
for the rich rewards bestowed on us now
and for the imperishable prize before us?

In the words of Paul . . .
Philippians 3:7-9 
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed, I count ALL THINGS as loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and count them as rubbish,
that I may gain Christ, And be found in Him,
not having my own righteousness which is from the law,
but that which is through faith in Christ.

*  What “comforts” am I willing to give up?
*  What “unpleasantness” am I willing to endure?
*  What time am I willing to spend in the service of the King of kings?
*  What will I freely and willingly surrender?
*  Am I willing to “count ALL THINGS as LOSS” as did Paul?
*  Do I really want to be the hands and feet and voice and love of Christ to the people I meet? 

surrenderOh use me Lord: use even me,
Just as Thou wilt, and when and where;
Until Thy blessed face I see;
Thy rest, Thy joy, Thy glory share!

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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6 Responses to ENDURANCE – is the prize worth it?

  1. Rob Barkman says:

    There are many times throughout my life it appeared that my ministry was making no difference for the cause of Christ. How often I have felt like quitting.
    And yet, by God’s grace alone, as He gave the the grace to continue on, He began to help me to understand that it is not important the results that we see…. what is important is the results that He sees! How often do we make a difference in the lives of others without ever being aware of it.
    If we know that we are doing His will, it si very simple…. just keep on keeping on… the Lord is using us! Thank you for a very encouraging reminder for all of us!

    • Rob, I hear you. I have often been caused to wonder about my ministry and felt like quitting, but each time, the Lord has graciously sent someone to show me that He used me to bless them. We don’t always see the fruit of our ministry and one of the joys before us will be to meet ones the Lord has used us to influence – and we will praise Him for the great privilege of being used by Him.

      We serve an incredibly amazing God whose calling is also His enabling and His empowering for the task, so we continue in His Name and in His power, giving HIM the glory.

  2. ptl2010 says:

    Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

    He is definitely worth more than us!

    • There is NOTHING that we could ‘give up’ that He does not richly repay. As Spurgeon said, ‘We can never out-give God, because He always uses a bigger shovel.’

      What an incredibly amazing God!

  3. Amanda Beth says:

    It always humbles me when I read stories like these about people having such motivation for things that are perishable. How much more should we be motivated to give Jesus our all and do whatever God asks us to, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Thanks for the humble reminder! God bless you:)

    • I agree Amanda. Reading of missionaries and others who give up so much of the things we consider necessary is inspiring – and there is no doubt they are blessed in doing so.

      While God doesn’t call all of His blood-bought, adopted children to work in a foreign land or to give up all their comforts, He does call all of us to be DEAD to self and self will and totally dedicated to Him. We KNOW this in our heads, but I fear that sometimes I tend to hold on to ‘comforts’ or I’m not willing to ‘go the extra mile’ for someone in need, even though I know that God is no man’s debtor and He richly rewards those who obey.

      We are privileged to serve our incredibly amazing God!

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