One night a man was asleep 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 the rock with all of his might. The man agreed and did as the Savior asked of him. For many days he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders squarely against the cold, massive surface of the rock–pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned home to his cabin, sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spend in vain.
Seeing the man show signs of discouragement, Satan decided to make his move. He planted thought in the man’s head such as “Why kill yourself over this–you-re never going to move it? And you’ve been at this for a long time and haven’t even begun to move this rock.” He gave the man the impression his 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 began to ease his efforts. He began to think maybe he should just put forth a minimum effort and maybe that would be good enough. But instead he decided first to take his problems to the Lord.
“Lord,” he said, “I have labored long and hard in thy service, putting forth all my strength to do as ye asked of me and yet in all this time I haven’t even budged the rock half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing, Lord?”
The Lord’s response was gentle but powerful. He said, “dear one…when long ago I asked you to serve me — and you accepted, my instructions where to push against the rock with all your strength, and that you have done. Never once did I tell you to move the rock. Your task was to push and in that you have not failed in the least. And now you come, your mind and heart discouraged, your strength spent, feeling a failure and ready to quit.”
“Child, look at yourself, and try to see you as I see you. You have been obedient to my instructions, even thought you did not fully understand them or the reasons behind them — and that has brought you much success. You are stronger than when you began. Your arms are brawny and muscled, your back sinewed and brown, your hands calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and firm.”
“Through opposition and obedience your abilities now far surpass the abilities you began with. Your calling was to be obedient, to push and to exercise your faith, and trust in my wisdom — and that you have done. You do not need to move the rock – when the time is right – I will move the rock. Well done my child.”