Example: [Elliott, 1995]
A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff.
In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her Contact lens. Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below Her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.
Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.
She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole Earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"
Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it!
Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why you want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what you want me to do, I'll carry it for you."
I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and It's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will."
God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Origins: This piece about an ant's fortuitously retrieving a mountain climber's lost contact lens is a charming enough parable about the concept that the Lord may sometimes call upon us to bear burdens for reasons we do not understand (but which ultimately prove beneficial to ourselves or to others), although its circulation on the Internet has resulted in a widespread misattribution.
Josh and Karen Zarandona are not the authors of this item; they're merely two people whose names became attached to it when they forwarded it on to others. Its original source is the 1995 book Keep a Quiet Heart, by Elisabeth Elliot, where it appeared in a chapter entitled "Lost and Found."
Last updated: 22 August 2005
Elliott, Elisabeth. Keep a Quiet Heart. Vine Books, 1995. ISBN 0-892-83906-6 (p. 119).