Midweek Musings #8: The End of the Rope

Most of us have been there a time or two, that circumstance where we felt like we had taken all that we could and we could take no more. It’s not a pleasant place. No one comes here willingly, and everyone wants out yesterday.

The U.S. Marines have a saying, “the only easy day was yesterday.” It’s kind of an attitude changer. With yesterday squarely in the past you can look at it victoriously no matter how it panned out. You are a survivor, and that’s all that matters. When you adopt this attitude, your  mind becomes conditioned, not only to expect that the day may be difficult and full of challenges, but also that you survived and stand stronger than before.

As Christians we recognize that our strength and our victories come through the Lord. We learn and understand that He has promised us victory and will sustain us through whatever trial comes our way. We have learned to depend on Him. Or at least that’s the outcome that He desires for us as He helps us through.

This doesn’t mean that our mindset, fortitude and tenacity have no part to play when we are going through difficult times. They most assuredly do! But from Whom did we acquire them?! When we see ourselves as having obtained the victory in our own strength we are missing and dismissing the hand of God in our lives.

The daughter of a family friend was always petrified when she was sick. Fear gripped her until she was in tears, terrified because she didn’t know what was going to happen to her. She didn’t know if she was going to vomit, or any number of other possible sickness outcomes. Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing, or it can be the very thing that can propel us to faith.

Ropes have ends. And sometimes we find ourselves hanging on for dear life, unsure of the outcome should we lose our grip. We likely started much higher on the rope; but sometimes life just happens, and we realize that we are edging closer and closer the end.

What we often don’t realize is that our grip on the rope represents our unwillingness to trust God with our lives. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, ESV). God doesn’t want bad things for us. He loves us and wants to see us live full and abundant lives of trust in Him.

I believe that when we reach the end of our rope and cling to it with every fiber of our being, we are failing to see that His hand is only an inch below our feet. He’s waiting for us to let go of our lives so that we may take hold of the life that is found in Him.

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