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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)

TITLE: A Quart Low?
By Dannie Hawley


Reaching for the wide, cotton hem of the white mosquito net, my brain spit out a Stop! Don’t do that! interrupting my robotic morning routine. The grogginess from yet another poor night’s sleep caused a delayed response as I stood looking at the hem in my hand. “Oh, yeah, thanks, I’d forgotten I planned to leave the net down.” Who was I talking to anyway? Alone in the room, I dropped the net and headed for the kitchen.

Anne stood by the flaming, kerosene cook-stove, gingerly leaning each piece of bread against the peak of the little camp toaster. Looking up, she smiled. “What’s up with you this morning? You’re not your usual bubbly, morning self today.” I tried to wave off any further conversation. “Seriously, are you feeling okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s the noisy jungle, and last night a huge cockroach crawled up the back of my head and…”

Slipping to the nearby bedroom, Anne glanced in while I continued. “I’m leaving my net down today so that those ugliest of God’s creatures can just find someplace else to hide, and someone else to attack in the night.” My colleague stifled her giggles.

“What you need is a hot cup of coffee. Here, take this and drink up!” Anne lifted my mug.

I reached for the black brew; its aromatic steam filled my nostrils. Awe yes, the morning nectar-of-the-gods couldn’t make everything right, but a good cup of java did help to put things in perspective.

Following the early morning breakfast, I grabbed my Bible tapes, and headed for my blue, prayer chair. ”But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you…’”* I listened to the reader, but didn’t finish the sentence before clicking it off; tears began to fall.

“Oh God, I really don’t think I can make it here. I know your grace is supposed to be sufficient, but I think I’m about a quart low right now. I just can’t make it.” My head really sagged more than it bowed, while I clutched the well-used little Walkman that held the New Testament cassette.

“Can you make it for one more day?” How sweet the voice which came from deep within.

“One more day? Well, yes, I think I can make it for just one more day.”

As soon as the words left my lips, the memory of another such moment sprung to mind. Newly blind the previous year, I cried out to God, “I just can’t do this, Lord! I really can’t!”

“Can you do it for one more hour?”

Shoulders shaking, my tears flowed like Niagara Falls. “No, I don’t think I can do this for one more hour.”

God heard my whispered reply through the sobs. “How about one more minute? Could you do it for one more minute?”

“Yes, for one more minute, I can do this, but no longer, please.”

Well, that one minute had turned into ten and then the hour had passed. It made me smile to recall that dreadful day not-that-long ago.

“Okay, I get it, God. Yes, with Your help, I can make it just one more day.” I must have improved a bit, because this time God had started with one day, not one hour.

Then, the image of a large, well-worn, yellow-red, clay water pitcher formed in my mind. Suddenly from within the pitcher, the clear, sparkling liquid began to expand. Before long, I saw it flowing up and over the spout and rim of the pitcher. Simultaneously, I felt something happening deep within me. A warmth radiated my innermost being, and flowed in all directions. So real was the filling sensation that, as the liquid began to overflow the pitcher, I reached up to feel the top of my head. I began a deep belly-laugh, realizing that, of course, nothing would be coming out of my own head. Then, another verse exploded from within me, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.”**

Joy filled the room as my burden lifted. If I would but give my all, God would abundantly do the rest. I need not be burdened down by physical disabilities, lack of sleep, or the presence of insects and jungle creatures disturbing my night. The measure of God’s grace would always be enough; and if I didn’t think so, I just needed to sit down and discuss it with my loving Father God.

*2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
** Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Author’s Note: This is a true story.

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This article has been read 474 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 01/17/13
Thank you for your work in the jungle--just one cockroach or snake and I would have been on the next plane. A good reminder that no matter where God places us, He is with us.
Linda Goergen01/18/13
Me too Bonnie...just reading about that huge cockroach made my skin crawl! I think it would take even more than an overflowing pitcher for me, I think God would have to nearly drown me in a sea of grace for me to stay there! May I say to the author, how brave and dedicated you were and I pray many blessings and rewards came from your sacrifice to be there. The message of this story though, reminded me of a difficult time I went through and God had to give me strength, second by second, minute by minute, day by day. Thank you for the reminder God measures out strength and grace in needed moments and measure. Well written story, with great message, a wonderful testimony!
Laura Hawbaker01/18/13
Good entry. Well written.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 01/20/13
Love the inner spiritual life portrayed here. Well done
Allison Egley 01/21/13
This is great. The "one more minute" and "one more hour" and "one more day" are great reminders.
Myrna Noyes01/21/13
This is a very encouraging, inspirational story, and I very much enjoyed reading it! Your overall writing, dialogue, and descriptions are well done. Great job! :)
C D Swanson 01/22/13
Inspiring, moving, touching and a meager dose of truth in every word of this well written and awesome story.

I loved it, and I felt as if I was right there as I read.

Thanks. God Bless~
Margaret Kearley 01/22/13
Great, honest, heart-thrilling writing. Thankyou. Wonderful illustration that God's Grace (second by second) IS sufficient for each of His children.
C D Swanson 01/22/13

Should have read "a MAJOR dose of truth in every word." Sorry...but fabulous nonetheless. Thanks. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/23/13
This is such a profound story. You reached out and grabbed my heart. All kinds of emotions zoomed around my heart and head as I read this well-written inspirational story. That fact that it is true makes an even greater impact.
Bea Edwards 01/23/13
A superb and poignant piece, one that lingers...
lynn gipson 01/23/13
Beautifully written and very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing this inspiring piece.
Noel Mitaxa 01/24/13
You have revealed the depth of your own commitment, in staying so open to God's grace when a whole army of vicious creepy-crawlies surround you. You can't even see them when you're awake, but you let that 'small' hurdle pass because you have chosen to encourage the rest of us! Amazing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/24/13
Congratulations on ranking 23 overall!