Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dumping Rocks

June 16, 2009

Often times Christians begin to feel overburdened, overworked, and overwhelmed.  We start out excited and ready to work for the Lord, putting all our efforts into what we are doing.  We take on one thing after another and feel like we are accomplishing God’s work.  But then all of a sudden what started out joyful quickly becomes drudgery and we feel like giving up.  What’s wrong?

Let me tell you a story about a man who met God in a lonely valley one day.  He asked God if there was something he could do for Him.  God responded that He had a wagon with three stones in it that needed to be pulled up a hill.  The man gladly responded, happy to do something for the Lord.  So God gave instructions where he wanted the stones carried. He was to go through the woods and up the road that winds up the side of a hill.  As the man began his journey he noticed it was easy and began to whistle and praise God.  What a joy it is to help the Lord, he thought.

As he rounded the third bend, he walked into a small village.  A man there stopped him and asked him what he was doing.   The man pulling the wagon explained that God gave him a job to carry three stones up the hill.   The other man said that he had been praying about how to get his rock up the top of the mountain and wondered if he wouldn’t mind carrying his for him.  Joyfully, the man responded that he was sure God wouldn’t mind.  The wagon seemed a little heavier but the man didn’t mind, knowing he was helping another brother as he served God.

Soon the man came to another village and ran into an old friend.  He explained what he was doing for God and his friend said he too had a bag of pebbles he needed to take to the top of the hill but just hadn’t had the time to do it.  The man responded that he’d be able to help him out and it shouldn’t be much trouble and was glad to help his friend.

The wagon began tugging at his arm and swaying, however it wasn’t too uncomfortable.  As he started up the incline of the hill he began to feel the weight of the stones, rock and pebbles.  Still, he was glad to be working for the Lord and helping his friends.  He thought to himself how proud God would be of how energetic and helpful he’d been.

One little stop followed another as he took on more and more in his wagon.  The man began to feel the weight and strain of the heavy wagon.  The joyfulness and praise suddenly began to turn into resentment.  Surely this is not what he signed up for.  God had given him a burden heavier than he could bear.

The wagon began to sway and the man began to have visions of giving up and letting the wagon go.  Finally after much sweat and bruises of the heavy load slamming against his legs, he thought “This is it!”  He called out to God and told Him that the burden was too heavy and that someone else would have to do it.  It was just too hard for him.

God walked over to the wagon and began to ask the man about all the extra weight in it, removing each piece and asking what they were.  The man began to explain how he was helping others because they needed his help.  God removed all the extra weight and told the man that if he would be content to let others carry their own burdens He’d help him with his task.  The man protested that he promised he’d help his friends and couldn’t just leave them lying on the ground.  God told the man to let others shoulder their own belongings.  He told the man “I know you were trying to help but when you are weighed down with all these cares, you cannot do what I have asked you to do.”

The man jumped to his feet suddenly realizing the freedom God was offering him.  He asked God if he really only had to take the three stones after all.  God responded “That is what I asked you to do.  My yoke is easy and my burden is light, I will never ask you to carry more than you can bear.”

The man was excited and a new song filled his lips. With great joy he reached the top of the hill.  It had been a great day because he had done what the Lord asked him to do.

Have you ever felt like this man trying to bear a burden that you were not called to carry?  God does tell us we are to bear one another’s burdens, but He has not asked up to step in and do what other people are not willing to do themselves.  There are many needs but God has not asked us to meet every one.  We can’t do it all.  If you are like this man, maybe you need to pray about out how to dump out all the extra rocks that you were not intended to carry in the first place.  Spend time with God and let Him show you what He wants you to do. 

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