One night, while sleeping in his cabin, a man saw light fill his room, and suddenly, God appeared; telling the man he had work for him to do. God showed him a large rock in front of his cabin, and explained that he was to push against the rock with all his might.
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 it with all his might. He returned to his cabin each night sore, worn out, and feeling all was in vain. The devil, sensing his discouragement, placed thoughts in his mind.
“You have been pushing against this rock for a long time, not budging it. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” Maybe I should just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.
He prayed, “Lord, I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked; and I have not even been able to budge that rock. Why am I failing?” The Lord responded, “My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. I never said 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! 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 will now move the rock.”
Sometimes we forget that the most important aspect of our prayer and work is not the actual object of that prayer and work. Rather, what God is most interested in… is our simple obedience and faith in Him. When exercising that faith…it will move mountains. But… don’t forget that it is still God who moves them. We are told in Mark 11:24 that… Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.