Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Best Place Ever

No, I'm not talking about Alabama, but it's close. Actually the best place to be is at the end our your rope. I know that doesn't sound very pleasant. The image that pop's into my mind is in the movie, "Trading Places." Winthorpe, the character played by Dan Aykroyd, lost his job, his home, his fiancee and his wealth. He finally reaches the point where he dons a Santa Claus suit, gets a gun, gets drunk and goes on a rampage at his former company's Christmas party. He finally reaches the end of his rope standing in the street still wearing the Santa suit. A dog pees on his leg, the rain starts to pour, he puts the gun to his head and - CLICK - nothing happens. Disgusted, he throws the gun to the ground and it goes off. That was the beginning of his climb out of the hole.

I have heard the testimonies of people who have come to the end of their ropes not too much differently than Winthorpe did and it is always in regard to salvation. But there is a type of "coming to the end of our rope" that occurs in the life of every Christian. I remember reading an illustration in a Hannah Whitall Smith book. I will paraphrase it as best I can.

There was a man that was compelled to climb down a rope into a dry well. The rope that was provided was supposed to be of sufficient length for him to reach the bottom. As he climbed down the rope, he soon reached the end of it and, much to his dismay, his feet weren't touching the bottom. His mind raced, "what now?" The well was pitch dark and he couldn't see anything below him. He looked up and could see to the opening of the well and decided to climb up. He climbed up a little way and was soon exhausted and could climb no farther. He lowered himself back down to the end of the rope and waited there. He soon lost all of his strength and let go of the rope just knowing that he was going to fall to his death. He fell about three inches and found himself standing safely on the rock bottom of the well.

God does the same with each of us. He brings us to the end of our rope of self effort, to the end of our struggling, to the end of our pride. God doesn't want us to hang there and struggle on the rope, He simply wants us to let go and stand firmly on the solid rock of Jesus. So you see, the end of your rope is the best place you can be; it's not meant to be a struggle, it's meant to be a blessing and a cause for rejoicing. You are about to enter the rest that God wants for all his Children and all that is required is that you let go and stand on the Rock, to put your faith completely in Him and surrender your work to Him.

6 comments:

ViolableWings said...

I love this post.
Anne

Gary Kirkham said...

Thanks Anne!

Joel B. said...

Great story/illustration. My favorite words in this post are "let go." :)

Gary Kirkham said...

Joel,

Amen to that.

Ron said...

I went to summer camp once and the following quote was hanging on the wall: "When you get to the end of your rope, make a knot and hang there."

I came across one of your comments on a Code Project discussion and your signature intrigued me; your blog is very inspiring!

Gary Kirkham said...

Hi Ron,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I think that is pretty common spiritual advice. I think it comes from the belief that God will never place a burden on you that you can't bear. I think this is a mistaken belief that comes from a misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 10:12-13. But God *will* place a burden on us that we cannot bear and He never means for us to bear it. We wants us to let it go and let Him bear it.

Gary