ENDURANCE! – The result was worth it

Endurance rewarded

He 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, while poisonous water moccasin snakes swam past, in order to observe a shy water bird. 

It certainly wasn’t pleasant or comfortable, but when questioned by a reporter, he simply 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 flimsy reward
for the rich rewards bestowed on us now
and for the imperishable prize before us?

#  What “comforts” am I willing to give up; what “unpleasantness” am I willing to endure in order to be the hands and feet and voice and love of Christ to the people I meet?

#  What time am I willing to spend in the service of the King of kings?

Oh 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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9 Responses to ENDURANCE! – The result was worth it

  1. snowgood says:

    Hi angela,

    I like it, but wasn’t Audubon doing what any of should do?

    David Cameron’s next BIG IDEA is a happiness index (I think he’s calling it a well being indicator) and about 35,000 are willing to be assessed.

    This was on the news today right on the heels of another report teliing of increased anxiety & depression in Britain. The answer for one group of people was to start a small community gardening project.

    Folk were astounded how something as simple as planting & nurturing a few plants made them more content, and increased their propensity to social engagement.

    Away from the rush of life God still does “His Stuff”.

    Oh, and I often lead the way taking locals & visitors on “Nightjar Hunts”, usually enjoying success & fascinating newbies at the same time…..mind you photographing a moving target in the dark isn’t my forte.


    • Yes, Stephen, John Audubon DID do what all Christians should do . . . be totally committed and dedicated. Our cause is much higher than his, yet at times we tend to please ourselves and go off doing our own thing.


  2. Rob Barkman says:


    When I think of the great sacrifice our Lord made for us… it brings me to shame when I complain about the few, small inconveniences I may give up for Him. My prayer is that He would open my eyes to understand in a greater way His sufferings for me. In turn, I trust it will renew my spirit to be willing to give up anything for Him.

    May the Lord continue to bless you Angela.


    • Hi Rob,
      Yes, I also know that feeling of shame when I think of my inconvenience, especially since He has proven time and time again that it is impossible to out-give Him.
      I think it was Spurgeon who said that we can never out-give God because He always uses a bigger shovel.
      May He continue to use us to reach others for Him


  3. pbus1 says:

    Hello Angela,

    This post brought to mind, all of the work on one’s body, the self-denial, the hours of training put in, and the discipline that an athlete, particularly a runner subjects themselves to, in order to have a chance of being the first to finish the race, victoriously! I Corinthians 9:24 came to mind. “Know ye not that they who run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” The runners enter the race, knowing that only one will receive the top prize, yet they are not deterred in their efforts to be that one! They do it to obtain a corruptible crown. How much more should we strive for mastery, deny ourselves, and be temperate in all things, that we may receive an incorruptible prize, the prize of eternal life? The pain that we endure now, does not begin to compare with the glory that shall be revealed in us! Praise God! Let us press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! Surely, it will be worth it all!

    God bless you!



    • Hi Paulette.
      Yes, I also thought of athletes and their rigorous training schedules, and of Paul’s examples of running a race.
      As you say, their prize is nothing compared with that of a faithful Christian. Their prize is corruptible and ours is eternal. They may have a fleeting time of celebration and so-called fame, but we can look forward to the King of kings saying to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” – the highest of all accolades! And then we can lay it all at His feet for we know that without Him we could do nothing and in fact it was all His work, not ours.
      What a Saviour!


  4. Debbie says:

    Thank you so much for the encouragement to keep the right perspective! I am going to keep this one in mind, for whenever I start to think too much about my small discomforts and unpleasantness. God bless you as you be His hands and feet today!


    • Thanks Debbie. It is such a HUGE privilege to be used by the Lord in His work and the rewards are so great that I often wonder why we hesitate to obey and to give our all, including our so-called comforts. God always gives so much more. May we always be ready and willing to answer His call.


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