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Push The Rock

June 27, 2012

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

 
Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the devil decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” This gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
 
“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.” And that is what he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.  “Lord” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”
 
The Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me, with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?  Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
 
Wow! Powerful revelation, isn't it? I can imagine the man standing there before God, looking at him sheepishly and shamefaced. It was a light-bulb moment for him; in his mind, he must have been thinking to himself: "That's why we fail exams...we often answer the wrong questions! Or we just don't follow instructions correctly. Whatever the case, I feel so totally embarassed now that I realize the case I had built against God is totally baseless!"
 
I feel humbled as I read this story as it once again reminds me how much God knows us. He knows our weaknesses and therefore allows just the “perfect rocks” in our lives to help us build up our strength. Sometimes these rocks leave us discouraged and disappointed but at the end of it all, when we are obedient we come out looking like an image from the Vogue magazine (read: spiritual model).
 
We will have enough rocks to push in our lives; in fact, some of us are pushing them right now. The devil is aware of what is going on and will therefore come around with his version of how he sees things….whenever he attempts to, please remember Romans 8: 28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose…..”

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