Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Keep Pounding the Rock

"... My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV)

"You'll never move that rock, Mikey, it's too big." Not very encouraging, but Mikey had grown used to hearing it from his friends. Since moving to their home when he was only three, Mikey hated that rock and wanted his dad to move it to make room for a swing set. His dad told him if he could move it, he would buy him one.  

Mikey was six then, and he spent every day trying to move that rock. Sometimes, he tried only a couple of times when he went outside to play. Other days, he'd try for hours. He first started with the little hammer in the tool kit he got for Christmas. When that didn't work, he used his dad's hammer. Still not successful, he saved his birthday money and bought a three-pound sledgehammer. Mikey had a boat-load of determination. Some might call it a stubborn streak. He never would give up on moving that rock.

As he entered his teen years, Mikey began to accept the fact that rock would probably always be there. Nevertheless, he didn't give up. By age 14, he'd bought himself a 10-pound sledgehammer. When he made the varsity football team, primarily because of his size and strength, he decided that rock could be useful in his training regiment. Each day he would spend an hour jumping on the top of the rock and pounding 30 licks with his hammer. He would then jump down and back up again and do another 30. By now, he had long since forgotten about the swing set. 

On signing day in his senior year, he signed a scholarship letter of intent. It was for a full ride to one of the most prominent football universities in the south. Later that night at supper, he asked his dad, "Are you ever going to move that rock?"

His dad responded, "Why should I? Look what it did for you." 

"What do you mean, Dad?" Mikey asked.

With a grin, his dad began to explain. "Mikey, since you were six years old you have wanted that rock moved. You worked at it every day, even breaking a few hammers along the way. That rock never moved, but it did something for you I never could've. It was that rock that made you strong. Although you hated it, it's the very reason you're where you are today.  If not for that rock, you would've spent your time playing video games or something. Instead, now you're about to live out your dream of playing college ball. It's your hard work, determination, strength, and perseverance that got you there. That rock you hated so much did all of that for you far better than I ever could have. I'm proud of you, son." 

Sometimes, it may be the thing that hinders us the most, that molds us into what God wants us to be. The trials we go through breed compassion for others going through them. They create in us a desire to alleviate someone else's suffering. They cause us to want to encourage others in their struggles. Those things we hate and don't think we'll ever survive are the very things that make us who we are.

Keep pounding the rocks in your life. Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Copyright © 2021 Andy Hollifield, used with permission.

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