A man was sleeping at 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 is what the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, pushing with all of his might against the seemingly immovable rock. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Sensing his weariness, Satan began placing thoughts into his mind: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved. You are wasting your time.” The man became discouraged, thinking that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.
The man thought, “All this work is getting me nowhere. I’ll just put in my time, giving the minimum effort and that will be good enough.” And that is what he did until one day he decided to take this matter to the Lord in prayer. “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. Now you come to Me tired and despaired, thinking that you have failed. Is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms and shoulders are strong and muscled, your back brawny and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through resistance you have grown strong without realizing the transformation in yourself. Yet you have not moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient, to push against the rock in faith, trusting in My wisdom that what I have asked you to do is for your benefit.
“You have done well, my Son. Now I will move the rock.”