i love this painting. it has always been one of my favorites. i first came across this painting when i was in jr high, one of the darkest times of my life.
last night when i wrote that post on depression, i was in a deep pit of despair and frustration. today i woke up feeling much the same way. but i decided i'm not going to allow that to continue. i'm going to do what i can to pull myself out of this rut. i know i cannot do this by myself. i have my wonderful husband who is there for me. who is taking me out to dinner to get me out of the house, spending money we don't really have, to help me feel better.
i also have the lord. i was going through my SOLE manual (read more about SOLE here) and came across this story.
The Rock (Author Unknown)
There is a story told by a Father Mary about a man who was asleep one night in his cabin, when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. 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 that rock with all his might.
This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sun up to sun down, 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 that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man was showing 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 here a long time and you haven't even scratched the surface," etc. giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was an unworthy and unprofitable 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 and that will be good enough." And that 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 long and hard in your service, putting forth all of my strength to do that which you have asked me. Yet after all this time I haven't even budged that rock 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 of 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 all by yourself. Your task was to push! And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you had failed and ready to quit. But is that 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 you still haven't succedded 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." (emphasis added)
how true that is in life. the lord has allowed me this burden, this depression, these traumas. he has given me the opportunity to grow and change for the better. it is so difficult. so hard. so unbearably HARD. but just like the man in the story, i know that after i give everything i have, when my strength is spent, the Lord will move my rock. i only have to put my trust in Him and do what He has asked me to do. i have to have faith that He will help me. this is, perhaps, the most difficult thing. i want to be in control of my life. i have such difficulty giving up my will to the Lord. but when i have in the past, the Lord has helped me. i just need to get to that point once again.
"[Cast] all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7)