Last week, a friend sent me a wonderful email.
She’s been reading my Housing Project posts and came upon this story that she said reminded her of me. I’d read versions of this before, but none quite as detailed.
A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God 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.
So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun-up to sundown, 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.
Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind. (He will do it every time!) “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn’t moved.” Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. Satan said, “Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort, and that will be good enough.”
That’s what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to 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 of 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 shiny and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, 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. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock.”
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him.
By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God Who moves the mountains.
When everything seems to go wrong………………Just P.U.S.H.
When the job gets you down………………Just P.U.S.H.
When people don’t do as you think they should…………Just P.U.S.H.
When your money is “gone” and the bills are due…………..Just P.U.S.H.
When people just don’t understand you……….Just P.U.S.H.
P = Pray U = Until S = Something H = Happens
Her timing is absolutely perfect. As much as I am a faith-based person, I’m also a person. I fail. A lot. I stumble, I cry, and very often want to give up or give in.
Now and then, I forget to P.U.S.H. Now and then, I’m lost at sea without the means to row myself back in. And now and then, I do feel like I’m drowning.
When will my writings help pay the bills? How can I justify buying this when we also need that? How can I authentically be there for my friends when I need someone else to be here for me? How do I keep on keeping on?
Mary’s email reminded me to do just that. And it came at just the right time. As often as I remind people of God’s love and His providence, sometimes they’re the ones that remind me.
So often I tell people, “I’m waiting for the rest of the world to realize how great a writer I am.” It’s not meant to be arrogant. But I know ~ absolutely know to the core of my being ~ that this is what I’m supposed to do with my life. It’s just not paying the bills. Yet.
But that’s not my job right now. My job right now is to write. And write well. My job right now is to put forth the effort and attempts to be a better writer.
My job right now is also to put forth the effort and attempts to be a better friend. To be there for people always, not just through the hard times.
A friend called me last night to see how I’m doing. He called because I didn’t answer his text last week. He called because he was concerned. And I love him for that. I hadn’t talked to him for a few months. But there he was, ready to help. And he did, just by calling.
I didn’t prattle of my list of worries to him. We’re more than just fair weather friends, he and I. And he gets it. We don’t talk. But when we do, it’s real. I could go years without hearing from him, and know he’s still there for me.
God is like that, too. He can feel distant, be a tad forgotten. But He’s always there for me. I can ignore Him as I keep myself too busy. I can set Him aside as I struggle to accomplish what I think are my goals. But my plans aren’t always His plans. And He is always there, whether I turn to Him or not.
At a moment when I was tired of spinning the wheel, Mary’s email reminded me of that.
My job right now is to keep the Faith. In whatever form that takes. I may not move mountains on my own. But I can start. I can keep writing. I can keep calling. I can keep reaching out to my world. In whatever form that takes. And I can keep praying.
Pray as if it all depends on God.
Work as if it all depends on you.
Mary’s email came at just the right time.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!