At Ropes End
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes”
I always laugh when I think of that joke about the guy who falls over the edge of the Grand Canyon and finds himself hanging onto a small tree branch sticking out of the side of the rocks thousands of feet up from the ground below. Crying out for someone to rescue him for what seems like and eternity he suddenly hears a sound coming from above that he believes to be the very voice God saying, “Let go”. Unsure if it is the Lord, the man cries out again, “Is that you God?” In a loud clear voice the voice replies, “Yes, it is I, ‘let go’” to which the man responds, “is there anyone else up there?” I don’t know about you but I can so easily relate to that man. We want to be rescued but often times on our own terms.
Obedience involves faith, and often times it requires what seems to us like a leap of faith or in the case of this story, a free fall. Have you ever heard the idiom, “I have come to the end of my rope” as if to say I am tired of waiting or I have run out of options? If so, know that is a great place to be in life as it is there in that moment that we find that there is life after the end of the rope, for its after the end of the rope when we have let go we discover who God is and what He is truly capable of.
The point is this, unless we come to the end of our proverbial rope as it were, God cannot use us to our fullest potential. To be used of God we first must come to the end of the confidence we place in our own abilities. To help us discover how capable God is He often allows problems and trials to come into our lives that are greater than our abilities to solve them.
Like the saying, “you will never be more alive than the day you die,” it’s equally true, we will never be more available to be used of God to fulfill our calling in this life than when we come to the end of ourselves (our rope) and let go. The trials that come our way are not designed to strengthen our grip so that we might try harder or hold on longer. Actually the trials of life are designed to do the very opposite. When we come to the end of our rope God allows us to become weak, so weak in fact that we let go and trust Him to be strong for us.
You see friend, God never tells us to try harder to keep His laws. God does however by His grace invite us to surrender ourselves to Him so that He can live His life through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s the secret as it were to our strength and our success, the ability to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The apostle Paul expresses the Lord’s heart perfectly in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 where he writes, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” God is faithful, friend, He will perform His perfect will in our lives as we let go. There really is life after the end of your rope. If you are trying to please God by being strong and holding on but you feel like you are losing your grip then do yourself a favor today and let go! Let go of self sufficiency and choose rather to rest in the faithfulness of God that we read about in the book of Jude.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)
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