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Rock of Ages

Janet Fithian broke the lawn mower blade on it when she was a newlywed. An ugly gray rock about a foot in diameter. "Can't we dig it up?" she asked her husband. Both he and his father agreed. It had been there since the Civil War when their family moved onto the property. No one had ever been able to remove it.

So it stayed. Her children were born, grew up and moved away. Her father-in-law died. Then her husband. Janet writes, "After the mourning, there was the coping — and with it a sharpened awareness of my surroundings, because I could change them more easily than my life's situation. Now I began to see the yard around me the woman sees her house when company comes unexpectedly. I saw a hundred little sore spots. I began to heal them, one at a time."

She left the rock alone, however. Nothing could be done about it. It stood watch over its patch of weeds and crabgrass, a distasteful scab on the lawn.

Janet went to the shed and got her shovel. She would dig it out. She braced herself for what would be a difficult experience, one in which others in previous generations must have failed. She put on heavy shoes and rolled out the wheelbarrow.

Five minutes later the rock was out! It had been about a foot deep and maybe six inches wider than it looked from the top. She pried it loose with a crowbar and hoisted it into the wheelbarrow.

She was stunned. "That rock had persisted there beyond living memory. Each family had taken it on faith that the previous generation had tried and failed to remove it. Because the rock had appeared to be large and deep, it was treated as strong and immovable."

What large, ugly gray thing are you facing? Others may tell you that it can't be moved. Nothing can be done. Don't be so sure!

The ugliest, most immovable object ever is man's sin nature. But one day Jesus rolled out the wheelbarrow of grace, and hoisting on a cross-shaped crowbar, he moved the immovable. In love He took our place, "so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (II Cor. 5:21).

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward