Shake off the Dust…Don’t Give Up!

A farmer had a donkey that he was very fond of; the donkey had served him faithfully for years and was very precious to him. As the donkey grew older, the farmer would allow it to go around the farm unaccompanied and it would return to the barn after some time.

The donkey went out one morning and had not returned by noon – which was very unusual. The farmer was uncomfortable and decided to look for the donkey; as he moved around the farm, he heard a noise from one of the pits located at the far end of the farm. On getting to the pit, he saw that the donkey had fallen into the pit and was struggling to come out. It was crying and wailing, seeking for help.

The farmer called his sons and they tried to lift the donkey from the pit using ropes but it was too heavy. Neighbours came along to help get the donkey out but all to no avail. The more they tried, the more tired everyone including the donkey became. It was probably going to take a crane or the aid of a chopper to get the big old donkey out of the pit, but they could not afford either.

After trying all they could, they finally decided that burying the donkey was the viable option… the farmer could no longer stand the anguish and pain it was going through. The earth from the pit was still close by so they all grabbed shovels and started throwing earth back into the pit. As they started the process, the cry became louder but then the donkey became quiet and everyone felt it was due to tiredness.

One of the farmer’s sons wanted to see what was happening and was shocked by what he saw when he looked into the pit. As each load of earth thrown into the pit landed on the donkey’s back, it would shake it off and then step on the sand. Thus, it was moving up the pit. When the son told the farmer about the development, they all started throwing in the earth with renewed enthusiasm and the donkey was lifted by every shovel of earth, before long, the donkey simply walked out of the pit.

The farmer was so glad to have his reliable old donkey back…

How often do we give up when things are not going our way? Other times, we resign to fate instead of pushing just a little more. Like the donkey in the story, we need to learn to shake off disappointments, failures and problems, and not dwell too long on them.

It is also interesting to note that what was meant to bury the donkey, lifted it out of its predicament! That ugly situation will only get the better of you if you allow it to. No problem is as bad as it appears. Something good can still come out of that mess.

Your attitude to your problem is more important than the problem itself. It is what you make out of your situation that counts. If others have given up on you, do not give up on yourself.

Shake off the dust…don’t give up!


Job cuts, job losses, earthquakes, share price plunge, plane crashes, ship hijacked by pirates etc are the latest in town. It is almost impossible to listen to the radio, watch the TV or read the news without these captions jumping at us.

Where is the world going and what exactly is happening? These and other questions are top on people’s minds. It looks like the headlines have shifted from coups, hunger, wars in Africa to Global meltdown, credit crunch and recession. The attention seems to have shifted to the West.

But these were the Economies and Countries that had/have a working and trusted system, so what happened? If the trusted systems are failing and the stable economies are becoming unstable, what are we to expect in the coming months? Analysts are not even sure again, some say, the recession will continue, others are saying there is a turn around for the better.

As if all the above were not bad enough, developing Countries are now targets of terrorist attacks…amazing! I used to think that only developed Countries were targets – how times change. It is increasingly becoming difficult to predict which place is safe and which is not.

I grew up thinking earthquakes only happened in the East, but even Europe is no longer exempt. Now a whole plane is missing and the number of aviation mysteries seems to have just increase by one. May God comfort the families of the passengers.

I am not in anyway magnifying or reminding you (as if you did not know) about the current happenings. Rather, this is a wake up call for us all to know that things will not always be the way they have been. The order is changing and the world is changing so fast that we need a grip less we fall. Times like this call for sober reflection.

In who or what do you trust? Where does your confidence and safety lie? What is your hope? In the midst of all of these, remember: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” We often pray and hope that God will save us from trouble and keep problems from us, but God is sovereign. Sometimes, He keeps the trouble away, at other times, He saves us IN the trouble. In the days of the disciples, He could have prevented the storm but He saved them IN the storm.

Be still and know that He is God…