Haven’t we all felt like the frazzled end of a rope? Frayed to the max and just about one strand away from total collapse? Exasperated? Discouraged? Exhausted?
And when I do, I come across memes like this one a lot. And that’s a good thing, right? A blessing to be at the end of my rope. Umm, yeah, I’m not so sure.
According to Merriam-Webster, being at the “end of your rope” means:
To be out of options or alternatives, no other help is available; to feel that there is nothing else you can do, to be out of ideas, or the ability to cope.
So, as Believers, I have to ask, why are we even at the end of our ropes in the first place?
God’s perfect plan is for us to rely on Him from the word ‘GO’ not when we are “out of options or alternatives, when no other help is available; when we feel that there is nothing else we can do, when we’re out of ideas, or the ability to cope. That doesn’t sound blessed. That sounds desperate. God never planned for us to go it alone until we just can’t go anymore.
This might seem like a hard truth, but being at the end of our ropes is the direct result of our own hard-headed, do-it-my-way-unless-it-doesn’t-work way of thinking. It is not part of God’s perfect plan for His children, and it has nothing to do with blessing.
Here is the problem with ‘end of our rope’ theology for Believers:
1) It gives us permission to be selfish. “I should rely on my own abilities and ideas first. If they don’t work out, then God… Me first, God second… if I need Him.”
2) It invites chaos, hurt, and damage into our lives and calls them a natural part of our growing and maturing process.
3) It doesn’t paint a picture of a loving God, but of a last-minute God. (I’ll let them struggle and struggle and struggle and then when they are about break, I will finally decide to help.)
Instead of wanting you to struggle with problems, Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7
Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened. My Yoke is light…” He never said, “Come to me, and after you strive and try and cry and get to the place where you want to give up, I’ll say good job and help out a little.”
So what would happen if we let go of our ropes before we were at the end? Or better yet, what would happen if we never picked up any rope at all. Wouldn’t that be a more blessed way to live?
If you are at the end of your rope, it’s not where God wants you to be. It’s not where you need to be. And it’s not helping you grow or mature. You’re not being purified through the striving. There’s a better way to live than from crises to crises.
10 Steps to Leaving That Rope Alone
It takes practice, so start now.
1. Commit not to pick up the rope. Learn what the Word of God says, release, rest, stand, grow. This is your faith walk. This is your purifying process.
2. Embrace God’s promises found in His Word instead of embracing what is going on around you.
– 2 Corinthians 5:7
– Romans 8:5
3. Learn God’s promises from His Word. Fill your mind and heart with His promises, so when your life gets bumped, God spills out instead of you.
– Romans 12:2
– Philippians 4:8
– John 17:17
4. Declare that God’s promises are true and are your reality whenever you begin to worry, doubt, feel stressed, or fear.
– Hebrews 11:1
5. When you pray, thank God for those promises found in His Word. Pray in faith instead of begging or complaining. (Thank you God that your Word says… )
– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
– 2 Samuel 7:28
– Matthew 6:10
6. Strengthen your heart and resolve by remembering what God has already done for you.
7. Believe that whatever life throws at you, He will work it out to your favor even when you can’t see it.
– Romans 8:28
8. Surround yourself with positive, faith-filled people who can encourage you.
– Proverbs 13:20
– Proverbs 27:17
9. Get away from negative people who want to wallow and complain in the circumstances.
-1 Corinthians 15:33
10. Learn to release problems and rest in Him. Your job is to trust and be obedient; His job is to work it out. This is good news!
Unfortunately for many of us, we only manage to truly HUMBLE ourselves to seek and knock AFTER we realize that we can’t do it ourselves, after things are an awful mess, when we are desperate or broken, or after the pain or frustration has become too much to bear. I know I, for one, am thankful He is willing to come bail us out time after time. But to experience His best, God wants us to stop living at the ends of our ropes and start living at the ends of ourselves. After all, what’s more miraculous? Being saved from one frazzled moment and then another? Or walking in peace and confidence through every storm?
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Take a look at Andrew Wommack’s Blessings and Miracles for an eye-opening look at why always needing God to show up in miraculous ways in not a blessed way to live.
Thank you to Bruce Hussey of The Hope Center for helping me solidify my list of 10 and Tom Bech for the title photo.