Why do we keep PUSH-ing “against the rock” in our lives?

I love this short story.  It perfectly illustrates the message of “opposition in all things” which is a critical component of our growth in this life of mortality.  It also resonates deeply within me, because the past 18 mos of my life have been spent “pushing against the rock” and now I’m beginning to see the immensity of countless blessings as a result.

I would share this thought to keep in mind as you read this.

In the April 2014 General Conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve said, “Much of what I have come to know falls into the category of things which cannot be taught but can be learned.”

When you combine that with this scripture: Hebrews 5:8, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” you realize something very important and universal that we need each accept as part of the formula for our lives.  That is, there are things we MUST and can ONLY learn through the things which we suffer – i.e., through simple obedience as we continue to push against the “rock” or the “opposition” in our lives.  There is NO WAY to be TAUGHT some of the most important things, BUT there is a way to LEARN them.

2 Nephi 2:11:  “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.


A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and the Lord 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. 

So, 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 of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: “you have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t moved.” Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

Satan said, “Why kill yourself over this?” “Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough.” That’s what he planned to do, but 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 of 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, 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. Now I, my friend, will move the rock.”

At times, when we hear a word from the Lord, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what He wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still the Lord who moves mountains.

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 is “gone” and the bills are due…just P.U.S.H.
When people just don’t understand you … just P.U.S.H.!

P = Pray   U = Until   S = Something   H = Happens


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