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When something is really hard, what do you do?
Eight year old Benjamin loved spending time in his tree house. He and his Dad had built it together during the last school holiday. He had been using Mum’s footstool to get from the ground to the first rung of the ladder nailed to the tree but Mum wanted the footstool back inside the house.
There was round piece of tree stump just a few meters away from the tree and Ben thought it would make a great first step. He tried to move the stump, but it was too heavy. He told Dad about the stump during lunch and Dad said, “Great idea! You should be able to move it, if you use all your strength!”
Ben got the hint. His Dad didn’t want to help. Or maybe he just wanted Ben to do it on his own. Whatever the reason, he would need to find a way to move the stump. After lunch, he tried to lift the stump onto its edge to roll it to the tree. It wouldn’t budge.
He headed into the shed and got Dad’s crowbar. Maybe he could lever it onto its edge. Back at the stump he wedged the crowbar underneath and lifted. The tip of the crowbar sunk into the ground. Ben looked up at the kitchen window and saw his Dad watching. Dad smiled, made a fist and flexed his arm muscle. Then he pointed at his head and tapped it a couple times.
“Yeah, I know use all my strength… Oh, use all of my smarts!” Ben looked at the stump and scratched his head.
He went back to the shed and got two blocks of wood. He stacked them on top of each other next to the stump and wedged the crowbar between them. Then he pulled down with all his might and the stump lifted off the ground! He stood on the end of the crowbar and with a long stick pushed the stump the rest of the way up onto its edge.
“Yeah! I did it!” he said, looking over at the kitchen. His Dad, still standing at the window, gave him a big thumbs up.
Ben got behind the stump and pushed. It didn’t move. Ben leaned his back against the stump and pushed. Nothing. It was too heavy.
He looked over at the kitchen again. Dad was standing in the doorway now, leaning against the open door.
“Dad, it’s too heavy,” Ben said. “I’ve used every bit of my strength and my smarts!”
“You haven’t used all of your strength,” Dad said.
Ben sat on the stump. “YES I HAVE! IT’S TOO HEAVY!” Ben threw his hands in the air, “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST HELP ME?”
“Ah,” Dad said as he walked out of the house and over to Ben, “Now you’re using all your strength!”
Dad and Ben stood together and pushed the stump all the way to the tree.
“Thanks Dad,” Ben said.
“You are very welcome, young man!” Dad wiped the dirt off his hands. “You know, Ben,” Dad said, “we have never used all of our strength until we have asked our Heavenly Father to help! Just like I was standing watching you struggle, God is always watching us. And He promises that the moment we ask, He will be there help!”
Testimonies for the Church 5:293, 294