Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. - Hebrews 11:1-3
Can you feel it? When we entered into this season of prayer for the church which began on Pentecost Sunday, we entered in through faith, not knowing where the Holy Spirit would lead to reveal God’s purpose for the church and for our community. The winds are blowing and lives are being transformed as we explore new and improved ideas for being in ministry together. Can you feel it? The gospel of Jesus Christ is being shared for the transformation of the world in and through our common work.
The story is told of a weak and sickly man who lived in a cabin in the mountains. One night his cabin filled with glorious light and he had a vision from God. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do and showed him this huge boulder sitting in his front yard. God told the man to go out and push on that boulder every day for eight hours a day.
The man did this day after day, from morning until night. The first week was exciting, the second week he noticed little real change, the third week he measured the rock’s distance from the cabin, and daily he checked to see how far he had moved the rock. After 6 weeks of seemingly useless pushing, he questioned his vision. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
One morning, as he went out to push the rock, he started crying and saw how useless his work really was; he couldn’t handle one rock and there were many more all around. He sat down near the boulder, crying, angry, and bitter. He felt he had failed.
The Lord came to him and 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.” (Author unknown)
May it be we continue to serve God in faithfulness as we discern where the Spirit is leading.
Grace and peace,