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The story is told of a little boy playing in his sandbox. He worked industriously, building roads for his toy trucks and cars. All went well for a time, until he discovered a roadblock.

A large rock was embedded in the sand, exactly where he wanted his road to go.

It’s okay, he thought. I’ll just move it.

But it wasn’t okay. The rock proved to be much bigger than he thought, and no amount of digging, pushing, or prodding would move it. It simply wouldn’t budge.

Still the boy stuck to his task. Sweat dripped down his face, and his hands began to hurt. But the stubborn rock stayed stuck. Finally he gave up in despair, and huddled in a miserable heap on the edge of the sandbox.

His father had been watching from the window, and joined him in the yard.

“What’s the problem, Son?”

“Daddy, I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I can’t move this rock. It’s stuck.” The boy’s lip quivered as he lifted his tear-stained face to look up at his daddy.

“I think I know what’s wrong, Son. You’re not using all your strength.”

“Oh, but I did, Daddy!” the boy cried. “I tried with all my strength, but it wasn’t enough.”

The father knelt and gently cupped his son’s chin. “Oh, but you didn’t use all your strength. You never asked me for help.”

It’s a perfect illustration of what we try to do so many, many times in our lives.

Life is hard, but we think we can do it on our own. We believe if we try hard enough and long enough, we can make the boss happy. We can fix that relationship. We can be a good parent. We can mend all the broken things and move all the big rocks.

And we try–oh how we try. We push and we pull, we strive and we work, we sweat and we cry.

And all the while our Father stands beside us, ready to impart His strength the moment we ask.

If we would only take a moment to listen, we would hear His gentle voice.

“My Child, you’re not using all the strength available to you. You never asked Me for help.”

The same God Who keeps spinning galaxies aligned, Who holds the breath of every living creature on earth, Who created towering mountains and roaring rivers, stands waiting for you to ask for His help.

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Now, I’m not saying your problems will magically disappear the moment you turn them over to God. I’m not saying life will be easy the minute you ask God for help.

But I know from experience that God will grant strength to the weary.

He will give wisdom to the seeking heart.

He will make a path where this is no way, He will provide water in the deserts of life, and He will carry you safely through your storm.

Stop trying to move all the rocks on your own.

Your Father stands waiting to help.

“Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.” (I Chronicles 16:11)