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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Do you have your rock?
Date Posted: August 29, 2021

By the incredibly smart fellow Anonymous.

Ages ago, actually last century, I ran across a story about a man and a huge rock. I have no idea who wrote it but God called it to my mind this week. I searched for it and could not find it, so I'll try to remember it as best I can.

A man had his home in the woods far from civilization. He liked it that way and relished the clear air and exercise he got walking as well as the marvelous peace he had from the bustling city just down the mountain.

One morning he walked outside and saw a huge rock sitting right in the middle of the path he took to work. He put his hands on his hips wondering how it got there and how he was going to get rid of it. The Angel of the Lord appeared beside him and said, "O, Man, God has sent me to tell you that it is His great desire that you push against this rock."

The man was astonished, but he loved the LORD and wanted to please Him, so every morning he pushed and pushed against the rock. He would break for lunch and refresh himself with water, but his main concern was pushing the rock. Day after day, he pushed and pushed, to no avail.

Satan came to visit him one bright afternoon. He settled on top of the rock and watched the man push and push. He heaved a huge sigh, then spoke, "O, Man, I have watched you push and push against this rock, and it goes no where. You have been at this for days and days and nothing has happened. Why don't you quit? Why don't you just give up and walk around the rock? Go back to your routine and forget about this blasted rock. You are getting no where fast."

The Man stepped back from the rock, wiped his brow, then looked up at Satan. "Sir, you have a point. Why am I pushing with no results? I'm wasting my time here pushing against this thing every day when I could be doing something productive. You are right!" With that, he stomped back into his home and slammed the door. While waiting for the water to boil so he could brew a cup of tea, he stared out his window at the rock. There it sat, right in the middle of the path, blocking his view of the mountain side. A useless hunk of stone that God had dropped in his path.

He drank his tea, brooding about the rock.

The Angel of the LORD settled into the chair across from him. "O, Man, why do you sit in here brooding and not pushing the rock? Did God tell you to quit pushing? He gave me no such message, so I know that could not have happened."

The man put down his cup and glared at The Angel of the LORD. "I have pushed and pushed against that rock with nothing to show for it. I have not been able to budge it an inch, much less to move it from the pathway. It blocks my view and it is useless."

"Did God tell you to move the rock or to push the rock?"

"To push! But, what was the use of that? It went no where."

"You obeyed, the LORD God Almighty, Man. You pushed for days on end and that was precisely what the LORD told you to do. There is righteousness in that. Look at your legs. The muscles are taut and huge. Your back is strong and straight. Your arms are twice the size they were months ago. You have a finely muscled body that is in shape for your next task. God did not tell you to move the stone. He did not tell you to go around the stone, but to push it. If you had not obeyed, you would not be ready for your next work.

“O, Man, sometimes, God will tell you to do things that make no sense in the short distance between your nose and the rock. But, in the big picture you will see that it makes perfect sense and all things have a purpose according to God's good purposes for all those who love Him."

This week I have understood a lot about God and His lessons...
Beth Moore pointed out in a Friday night session:
Sometimes it is much easier to just soak in the worship experience than to dig into God's word.
Sometimes it is much easier to let God fight our battles than to work with Him to build a warrior.
Sometimes it is much easier to allow fear to hold sway than to boldly go where God would have us go.
Sometimes it is much easier to just let God carry us than to let Him teach us to walk with Him.

I must remember that God has many works for me to do and He will never let me go unprepared. It would actually be a lot simpler for me if I would let go and let God, instead of having this white-knuckle grip on the things of the past. I thought I had learned that lesson. Paul said that he pressed forward, not looking back because those things can't be changed. We can't change the past, but we can change the future by learning our lessons well, by taking the tests once, rather than taking them over and over. We will continue to take those tests until we've truly learned the lessons God has for us to learn. We may as well get our books and go to school with the mindset of learning; putting bandages on the scraped knees with God's kisses making them better. The purpose is not the failure, although, how would we know how sweet success is if we did not have failure to compare it to? I just know that God really doesn't care how many times we fail, as long as we keep getting up and coming to school. He knows we'll eventually learn... one day.

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and
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