When you think of the word unmanageable, what things come to mind?
What comes to my mind are many forms of weight that tend to become unmanageable when we are not allowing God to carry the heavy part of the load/weight/burden; spiritually, emotionally and physically. We tend to think that our duty in life is to manage absolutely everything, perfectly. Even well-meaning believers will tell you that it is your duty as a believer to be able to manage all things in your life and carry a heavier load than most others or unbelievers. It seems as though the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13),” has been distorted to make us believe that we should be able to do all things and there is no excuse or exception for the inability to do so, except that we are not doing enough or working as hard as we should at it. When the verse clearly states, “through Christ,” It has everything to do with God working through us and nothing to do with our ability or might (‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.-Zechariah 4:6).
So why then do we always seem to take on the all the unmanageable weight which only leads us to feelings of frustration, failure, depression and loss of faith?
Recently, a sister in Christ told me the story I am about to share with you. It was the encouragement that I needed desperately and the perspective that allowed me to see my part clearly. I am unsure the origins of this story, but I know it will encourage many.
A man was sleeping one 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.
This the man did, 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 it 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.
Noticing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the devil decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind. “You have been pushing against this rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These troubling thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this? Maybe I should just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.”
He prayed, saying, “Lord, 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 been able to budge that rock. 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 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 now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”
Are you carrying or pushing an unmanageable load that God has never told you that you were supposed to carry? Are you listening intently to what God is telling you to do or simply trying with all your might to push a rock that God never told you to move?