I wrote this as an email today, but just had to share with others on here.
I just finished reading a book called "These Strange Ashes" by Elisabeth Elliot. Ah! So good. I would definitely recommend it to all of you. It's about her first year as a missionary in Ecuador. (Before she and Jim got married). This excerpt at the end of the book really ministered to me, and I wanted to share it!!!!
"A story is told of Jesus and His disciples walk one day along a stony road. Jesus asked each of them to choose a stone to carry for Him. John, it is said, chose a large one while Peter chose the smallest. Jesus led them then to the top of a mountain and commanded that the stones be made bread. Each disciple, by this time tired and hungry, was allowed to eat the bread he held in his hand, but of course, Peter's was not sufficient to satisfy his hunger. John gave him some of his.
Some time later Jesus again asked the disciples to pick up a stone to carry. This time Peter chose the largest of all. Taking them to a river, Jesus told them to cast the stones into the water. They did so, but looked at one another in bewilderment. 'For whom,' asked Jesus, 'did you carry the stone?' (pg 148)
**Even though throwing the rocks into the river made absolutely NO sense to the disciples, they did it. Jesus asked them to simply carry a stone for Him--no other instructions. They had to follow Him, carrying their stones, whether big or small, until He gave the next command.
If God has asked us to do something, to carry a "stone" for him and then throw it in the river, we must do it, if for no other reason than because of who He is. Because He has asked. Because He is God. Even though it seems weird. Even though it seems like people would think we are crazy. Even though, if I were Peter, I would have thought, "Are you kidding? I want some bread! I am hungry! Do you know how heavy that rock is that I carried? And now I have to throw it in a river? Why?"
I want to carry my stone for Jesus. To be willing to do whatever He asks, even if it is throwing it in the river. Even if the stone is actually something more valuable to me. To give it all for Him. My heart is so hard and I am so unwilling.... Oh Lord, help my unwillingness.**