I took off last Friday to repair the fence in the back yard. A couple of panels had been blown over by a recent storm and one of the fence posts broke off just below ground level. I did a quick, temporary fix to hold the fence up and keep the dogs in (one of them got out, you have to read last Sunday’s sermon to get that story) but I needed to put in a new fence post to fix the fence right. Rather than pull up the old post and the concrete around it I decided to put in another post about a foot away and save some time and energy. Friday would be the day. I bought a new 8 foot tall post, several pickets, and a bag of ready mix concrete and I was ready to go when Friday rolled around. I started digging about 8:30. The digging came to a sudden teeth jarring stop about 10 seconds later when I hit something very solid. I knew from previous experience it was a huge rock. I scooted over another foot hoping that the rock was not that large. I popped in the sharp shooter shovel and once again heard and felt the sound of caliche. So much for saving time and energy.
I dug out the perimeter of the hole and then I started chipping away at the rock with a San Angelo bar. A San Angelo bar is a 6 foot long metal bar with a point on one end and a straight edge on the other end. It weighs about 35 pounds and it is the only way to chip through rock by hand. You hold the bar straight up and down and you lift it up and bring it straight down on the rock chipping a small flake off of the rock and a little bit of cartilage off of every joint in your body…sometimes you lose a filling in your teeth. It is a great tool. After about 45 minutes of this fun I saw a crack in the rock! I continued to work that area and the rock split in two! I was able to widen the hole a little bit and I pulled out a section of rock just bigger than a football. From there I was able to dig down further with the posthole digger so that I could set the post 24” deep. From that point on, it was pretty easy. Mix the concrete, set the pole level in the concrete – and in line with the fence and then come back later and nail the panels to the new post. But I have to admit that getting past that rock was hard! I felt like quitting a few times but I knew if I stayed after it and kept chipping away eventually I would get past that rock.
Maybe there are some things in your life that are difficult for you right now. Maybe there are some obstacles that you have encountered that have made you want to give up on some things that you really know that you ought to complete. Stay the course, complete the task. While I was working to chip away at that rock I kept thinking of God’s word in Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” Whatever task you are undertaking, let God give you encouragement. Let God give you strength! Let Him help you do the things that He has called you to do. He will give you encouragement; He will give you instruction if you let Him.