A lot has happened this last couple years and now this virus is rearing its ugly head again! It’s not just the virus, it’s all the changes we must endure because of it. Some feel at the end of their rope.

I wrote this while sitting in the garden today and wanted to share it with you.  I included some photo’s to enjoy, and to help pull you up if you are at the end of your rope.

We can easily feel we are at the end of our rope, however, it is of utmost importance, especially as a follower and a daily traveler with Christ that we recognize we are never at the end of the rope because we have hope! We have hope where often, others don’t. We just need to pull ourselves up on the rope!

This life is not easy, and we should not expect it to be. Our bodies may be slowly deteriorating with age. Sickness may plague us. We often make mistakes and sometimes we sin– We pay for those mistakes (That’s the price of learning, isn’t it?). We can get so swallowed up in our infirmities and in our issues that we hang at the end of our rope. We don’t allow ourselves to bask in the glory of Christ and his presence in our lives. Even worse, we often paralyze ourselves with the struggles we face.

I sometimes feel like I have been doing that most of the last year or so (hanging at the end of my rope). I will admit there have been times I have felt paralyzed in my thoughts. I have experienced some depression this year I have not experienced in decades.

HERE IS THE TRUTH: Jesus won the victory of death — and we can win “with” victory in this life!

Think about the apostle Paul. We see the apostle Paul in this “apostolic glow”, meaning that we see this valiant, courageous, strong, wise, and persistent man who proclaimed the Gospel so strongly — that he lost his life over it!

However, as we examine his life, in many ways, it is not much different than ours. We don’t think about that. (Side note: Don’t let the Bible be just a story, look at the reality of life in God’s words.)

When we examine Paul’s life We see that Paul really wasn’t that successful A man in a worldly sense, if you consider success as being the pious, and somewhat famous respected religious authority that he was before he met Christ. He spent much of his time in prisons, shipwrecked, and being beaten. He endured a “thorn” in his side–something that tormented him all of his life.

Our lives, in many respects, are no different than his. Are any of us at the “top of the ladder” in success? Are any of us in physical or emotional prisons that that enslave us? Have any of us been shipwrecked? Not where we want to be? Stranded in a life not of our own choosing?

Do you have a thorn that has tormented you all your life and continues? I have thorns, things that happened in my young life that torment me to this day. Sin that shaped my life that is hard to ignore, like anger, coveting, and always wanting more. Pride that probably causes me all kinds of problems!

Truthfully, while we see Paul in this, “Apostolic Glow”, in relation to what he has taught us about Christ– Truthfully, Paul was a mess, and lived a messy life. Paul endured trials, struggles, and pain — you name it — just like us! But he looked for, and received, strength from God every day!

REMEMBER THIS: When things aren’t going right, when people disappoint you or cause problems, when things just aren’t falling in place in your life– REMEMBER THIS — No one can destroy what God can, and has, accomplished through you. And most importantly, remember this truth: Jesus won the victory of death — and we can WIN WITH VICTORY in this life!

Each day is a new day! When you are at the end of your rope–PULL UP ON IT! Seek God first in your life (pull a little more). Seek a relationship with Jesus (keep pulling). Apply the wisdom of God and the wisdom of Jesus to your everyday life (that in itself is pulling up a couple more feet on the rope. It even puts a knot in the rope to hold on to!).

With Jesus at your side, walk through your valleys–HE IS WITH YOU. When you travel through life with Christ at our side, he pulls you up even further, doesn’t he?

Hey, you are no longer at the end of your rope! WAY COOL!

The apostle Paul is speaking and shares what it’s like to live in this world with the struggles in our lives: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” ~~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (TNIV) (The apostle Paul speaking)

I like this same verse in the MESSAGE VERSION translated by Eugene Peterson: “We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.” ~~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (The Message version)

Jesus himself tells us how to do it: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ~~ Matthew 6:33 (TNIV)

Again, I love the message version for it’s simple understanding: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out.
You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” ~~ Matthew 6:33 (The Message Version)

May you focus on our journey with Christ and apply his wisdom to your everyday life, because something Spiritual happens and you find hope. We don’t have to live at the end of our rope.