One night a man who was asleep in his cabin dreamed that Jesus appeared in his room. The Lord then led the man outside and showed him a massive rock that was in front of his cabin. He then told the man that his mission was to push against the mammoth rock with all of his might.
Still dreaming, the man at once obeyed His lord. Day after day, with his shoulders set squarely against the rock, he pushed with all his might from sun up to sun down. Each night he returned to his cabin completely exhausted, feeling that his efforts had been in vain. Seeing that the man was getting discouraged, Satan approached and told him, "You have been pushing against that rock day after day and it hasn't budged an inch. You will never move it… so why try?" Satan’s words disheartened the man even more.
His thinking soon became infected with doubt, "Why am I killing myself over this?" he thought. "My efforts aren’t accomplishing anything! Maybe I should quit.”
At that moment His Lord again appeared. "Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, trying with all my might to do that which you asked. Yet, I have not budged that rock at all. What is the use of my going on with this hopeless assignment?"
To this Jesus responded compassionately. "My son, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. But never once did I command you to move it. You have faithfully obeyed my order.”
“But”, the man replied, “Why did you ask me to do something which was fruitless in its result?”
“Fruitless?” Jesus responded, “Notice that your arms are now robust and muscled, your back sinewy and strong, your hands are hardened, and your legs powerful. Through determined obedience you have grown much and your current abilities far surpass that which you possessed before. Most notably, you have obeyed my voice, which is the important thing. No, you never moved the rock, but I only asked you to push it, which you did. Well done!”
I have the distinct feeling that most who read this will instantly identify with the man in one or more areas of spiritual endeavor. Although we may not understand why Jesus asks us to do (or not do) certain things, rest assured that our obedience is the important thing. And although we may not see visible fruits from our labors, God is using us to accomplish more than we realize. No matter what happens (or does not), JUST KEEP PUSHING!
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:2-3)
Jesus, Always Jesus!