Have you ever felt like your efforts are in vain? Like no matter how hard you try, you can never get ahead?
We have all felt this way at some point in our lives. There is a story that I read years ago that has helped me a lot... I recently found it again and want to share it:
Pushing Against The Rock
There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared to him.
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 his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; 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 his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man showed 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 a long time and you haven't even scratched the surface!" etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy 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, giving just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough." And this 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 hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even 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 your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this 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 haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done. My friend, I will now move the rock."