One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally he decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn’t worth it to try and retrieve the donkey. So the farmer asked his neighbors to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well.
At first, when the donkey realized what was happening he cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down and let out some happy brays. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well to see what was happening and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was shaking it off and taking a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, to everyone’s amazement, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off! – http://www.naute.com/stories/donkey.phtml
Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
What do the writer of Hebrews and the Donkey have in common? They share the same strategy when it comes to adversity; shake it off and step up. When the heavy chains of our life and our sins start dragging us down, shake them off and step up. When people’s cutting remarks, lack of love and appreciation, or bitter attitude starts to weigh us down; shake them off and step up. Shake off the dirt the world piles on us. Never give up!
Still need more encouragement? Consider Christ. As he hung there on the cross, the world seemed to have won. The world had found a way to bury Christ and his mission. But on Easter morning, he demonstrated there could be victory over this life. In one single action he proved he was not bound to the chains of oppression by men. Even the chains of death lost its power. The empty grave showed the world no power could contain or overcome Christ and his mission. He shook off death and shook and stepping up in victory!
Want to experience the power of victory in your life? Fix your eyes on Christ. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. Through him alone is there true victory in this world. When we fix our eyes on Christ all our adversities, no matter the size, become stepping stones to victorious living. Don’t grow weary or lose heart. Instead, shake it off and step up in faith.