Obedience – even when we cannot see the end

I heard this story a long time ago, and it is a very good reminder of a great many things. I could list them, but you’re smart – you can figure it out.

There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Messiah appeared to him.

The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture – placing thoughts in the man’s mind, such as “Why kill yourself over this?, you’re never going to move it!” or “Boy, you’ve been at it a long time and you haven’t even scratched the surface!” etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn’t moving the massive stone.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. “Why kill myself?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And this he did or at least planned on doing until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.

“Lord,” he said, “I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”


To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you haven’t succeeded in moving the rock; and you come to Me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done.”

We give up because we don’t see the results we’ve expected, or we finish our task and believe we’ve failed because our expectations were different the end results. Our focus has turned from what the task was to what the result of what we done was. A small, but very important difference.

Can we just continue to follow and/or do what the Lord has asked us to do, even in the midst of our confusion, disappointment, and even heartbreak?

Trust to Hope

Ramblings from my journal…
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when desire comes, it is the tree of life.” Part of my wrestling is that I am hesitant to hope, having seen many hopes dashed time and time again. But I think the heart was fashioned to always hope – it has to always hope in something. And it has an amazing amnesia of what happened to hope the time before.

Yes, scary though it is, I will trust to hope.

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh will also rest in hope.” – Psalm 16:9

Two Poems

I was thinking on phrases from these two poems. Just thoughts, nothing solid, but I’ll share them with you and you can reflect, or not, if you will…

He was better to me than all my hopes
He took away all my doubts and all my fears
Jesus made a bridge of my broken dreams
And made a rainbow of my tears.

                                     – Unknown


You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
In God (I will praise His word),
In the LORD (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
                             -Psalm 56:8-11

Daddy

I wrote this poem some years ago, and I loved it then. But after I heard a teaching, I realized that I needed to make a change. The poem was about Yeshua, but as I went over it in my mind, I realized that all the attributes were of God the Father. There are many ways to interpret that, but I will just leave it at how much I love and trust my Daddy.

Daddy

El Shaddai?
– Yes dear.
I crawl into His lap and
look into His eyes.
I study His face,
memorize Him by touch.
– Nothing.
I just want to know You.
– I know, He smiles.

Abba!
Frightened by the storms,
I cling to Him.
– Yes, My child.
He becomes a strong shelter;
a Rock that draws me near,
One who is not shaken.
– Nothing.
I just want to know You’re there.
His strong arms protect me.
– I know.

Papa God
I cry.
I sob with a bleeding broken heart
dejected, rejected in my hands.
– Yes, My love.
He takes the heart,
bruised and battered by people and life,
and exchanges it for His.
Restored and whole,
I draw near to Him.
– Nothing.
I just want to hear Your voice,
feel Your love.
– I know, He says
and draws me to Himself.

Daddy?
– Yes, precious.
I look with love into His face,
nestled against His chest,
enthralled by His heartbeat.
As I sit in His presence,
absolutely embraced
in His powerfully loving arms,
words fail me;
not even necessary.
I enjoy just…
Him.
– I know.

Gather Not a Few

I was remembering a concept I read in a book, of something that happened in the Bible. In 2 Kings, chapter 4 or there abouts, is the story of the widow of a prophet, and Elisha going to her house during a famine asking for food. She responds that she has only this bit of oil and flour for her and her son. Elisha tells her to gather jars, borrow jars from her neighbors, Gather not a few. The widow, not knowing what he is about, gathers all the jars and does as Elisha says and pours her little oil into the jars. She has enough to fill them all, some of which she can keep, some she can sell.

Now, the widow, not really knowing Elisha or what was going on, gathered as many jars she could find, expecting he would do something. Why do I, who knows how big, generous, loving, etc, my God is, only put out my faith for a little blessing, or “just enough”, thinking that I can just get by?

Gather not a few, He says. Let His provision and blessing blow me out of the water. Come expectant and expecting, knowing He can and will and loves to fill up our jars.

Going Through the Valley

I have a poem I wrote during 40 days of fasting and praying. I like poetry and prose, it’s what I do, and it sometimes expresses things better than a whole bunch of words. One unique thing about this one is that it was a journey. I began it at the beginning of the 40 days, and finished it at the end. It still calls stuff out of my heart…

Through the Valley

Psalms 139, 23

Storms rage, the winds roar
The foundation shakes but stands whole
I hang on to that, my rock, my faith
The world tremors and crumbles
And I hold fast.
Then a whirlwind comes
Everything – Everything disappears
And my heart is plunged into blackness.
There have been many trials
Many obstacles, many attacks
Hurts have cut deep
as to leave me breathless,
And, I’ve found my way home.
And yet,
I stand here trembling.

It has never been so dark.

Lord…

There are no words
Nothing that even begins to flesh out
My desperation,
My need,
My heart’s cry.
The Valley of the Shadow of Death has found me
And I can’t even find the light that makes the shadow.
One step.
Another.
Making my way through the valley,
Broken,
Shattered,
Convinced of my Elohim and who He is
But feeling so alone,
So overwhelmed by the darkness.
A whisper of breath,
An ethereal caress,
And assurance settles deep in my heart.
“Yeshua can find you in the darkness.”
A hand holds mine
And walks along side of me,
Guiding me through the darkness,
No longer overwhelming or frightening,
But surrounding us in intimacy.

Yeshua…

His presence turns my upside down world
Into absolute peace.
The storms, the winds, the darkness-
Nothing matters.
He fills me and restores my soul.
It takes flight and I proclaim:
He is Everything!
My Everything!