The Assignment — A Parable

Larry Snyder Pastor of Victory Baptist Church, Clinton

Larry Snyder
Pastor of Victory Baptist Church, Clinton

Do you know that God has a purpose and a plan for your life?  Nothing is more exciting than coming to that realization and discovering what God has called you to do.  Nothing is more thrilling for the believer.  But are you doing it?  Are you obedient to His will?  Have you been faithful?

A parable is told (the author is unknown) about a man who was sleeping one night in his cabin, when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man that 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.  The man did this, 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, Satan decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s 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.”  The man began to believe that the task was impossible and that he was a failure and he felt discouraged and disheartened. “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 he planned to do this 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 is 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 surpass what you used to have, yet you haven’t moved the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. You have done this. Now, my friend, I will move the rock.”

Our task, men and women, is not to move the rock.  Our job is to be faithful and obedient to do what God has called us to do.  Are we doing that task?  Have we been faithful to it?
“Help me, Lord, not to fear what I’ll miss if I do your will; help me to fear what I’ll miss if I don’t.”  Amen.


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