Sunday November 23, 2014


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At the end of your rope

Ministerial Moment

At the end of your rope is an interesting expression. It has a range of meanings; at wits end, paralyzed, or in so much trouble that you don't know what to do. Have you ever felt that you were near the end of your rope?

In Matthew 5:3, the Message version of the Bible translates the words of Jesus as, "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule." This means that it can be a good thing for you to be at the end of your rope or in a situation that is so difficult that you don't know where to turn. This seems like strange thinking. How can it be good to be overwhelmed with trouble? The reason that it can be a good thing is that when you are unable to help yourself then God has the opportunity to come near and give his help. When we are in a situation where we can't help ourselves then God can come and help.

Some years ago, I was rafting on the Tana River in Kenya. I fell out of the raft, just below a waterfall and was sucked into the boiling water. I am a swimmer and I swam hard to get out, but I had no idea which way was up or down. After a bit, I quit swimming and stopped struggling, and then came to the surface and took a well needed breath of air. After the trip, I asked the guide what you need to do in a situation like that. He said, you just go limp and then the river pushes you out and back to the surface. He was saying that you need to stop trying to rescue yourself and let the water push you out. Perhaps God works a bit like this. It is when we give up thinking, planning, and trying to save ourselves and just stay quiet that God then has a chance to come and help us.

If you are feeling near to the end of your rope over some difficult situation, perhaps these words of Jesus might be just the guidance you need.



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