Most of the times I pray so that people or situations around me will change. Then when there is no answer, I would despair, become impatient and would stop praying.
Browsing through some of the old files on our laptop, I came across this article:
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior 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 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, the
Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You have been pushing against that 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 thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough.” And that is what he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
“Lord” he said, “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 budged that rock by half a millimeter. 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.”
At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him…. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. Romans 1:16
When everything seems to go wrong, …just P.U.S.H.!
When the job gets you down, …just P.U.S.H.!
When people don’t react the way you think they should, …just P.U.S.H.!
When your money looks funny and the bills are due, …just P.U.S.H.!
When you want to curse them out for whatever the reason, …just P.U.S.H.!
When people just don’t understand you,…just P.U.S.H.!
This made me realize that praying is not always for God to change things and people around me, but for Him to work in me. When there is no answer, it doesn’t mean there is really no answer. The “No” and the “Wait” may be given not for me to despair, but for me to trust Him more.
When God is silent might be the time for me to look at myself and allow Him to work in me, changing me into what He wants me to be.
In a sense, the “No” and “Wait” answers are blessings in disguise.
So when things or people around causes discomfort, it’s time to pray again and to pray more. It’s time to PUSH the rock more. It’s time to pray until something happens in me. Then, by the grace of God, I will learn to trust Him more, to obey Him more, to be more like Him, and to experience more peace and joy in life.
When there is no answer, I’ll pray again.
Featured image created by my son, Jabez Christian.