le dernier quart d’ heure

“Nothing but the infinite can ever satisfy me; I am such a great sinner that I must have infinite merit to wash my sin away;” but we have had our sin removed, and found that there was merit to spare; we have had our hunger relieved at the feast of sacred love”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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(the bloom of the humble chive / Julie Cook / 2016)

There always comes, I think, a sort of peak in suffering at which either you win over your pain or your pain wins over you, according as to whether you can, or cannot, call up that extra ounce of endurance that helps you to break through the circle of yourself and do the hitherto impossible. That extra ounce carries you through ‘le dernier quart d’heure.’ Psychologists have a name for it, I believe. Christians call it the Grace of God.”
― Elizabeth Goudge

That last lap,
that last breath,
that last push,
that last….

That last bit of strength, of hope, of muster…
That last bit of whatever it is that sees you through…

Through the…
race
job
exam
test
journey
illness…
…the day…
Your life…

What is your le dernier quart d’heure?
What carries you though, and even past, those last,
final and most difficult trying moments of your task at hand?

Sheer will?
Sheer strength?
Sheer power?
Sheer luck?

or is it…
sheer Grace….?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

there’s always something better

My father said there were two kinds of people in the world:
givers and takers.
The takers may eat better,
but the givers sleep better.

Marlo Thomas

“The greatest need of our age and of every age, the greatest need of every human heart, is to know the resources and sufficiency of God.”
― Albert Benjamin Simpson

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(curious and opportunistic grackles check out the water tub / Julie Cook / 2015)

Having thrown out a bucket of corn for our resident deer, it didn’t take long for the invading passerby grackles to find the golden nuggets dispersed within the grass.
With life having been relatively dry up until the last few days, we’d put out a tub of water for our thirsty four legged friends.

As soon as the grackles approached, ready to descended onto the corn, they first hesitantly and cautiously headed toward the black tub.
A single grackle arrived in order to investigate.
Then a few more appeared hoping no doubt that the big black tub held a treasure trove of corn.
More and more grackles arrived with each new arrivee having to check out the tub for a possible plethora of food–
Obviously not satisfied by the existing kernels scattered throughout the grass.

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(curious and opportunistic grackles check out the water tub / Julie Cook / 2015)

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(curious and opportunistic grackles check out the water tub / Julie Cook / 2015)

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(curious and opportunistic grackles check out the water tub / Julie Cook / 2015)

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(curious and opportunistic grackles check out the water tub / Julie Cook / 2015)

I suppose we’re a lot like the never satisfied grackles, as we often seem to think there is going to be something bigger, better and more which must be lurking elsewhere other than that which has been graciously offered and set before us. It’s as if we are constantly hoping to find that which is easier for the taking and neatly given without our ever having to work for what we get. . .

So it is with this thought in mind that my prayer for today is that we may each stop long enough, taking time from our chaotic lives, to find the gratitude within our hearts for that which we already possess, as well as for that which has been graciously offered and lovingly placed before us. . .all without the expectation and desire of seeking anything else or anything more. . .
May we truly appreciate the effort we exert. . .which in turn,
makes each reward that more sweet. . .

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9