Give me a word, Lord: HOPE AT THE END OF THE ROPE

2 Corinthians 1:8 We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

Last night, as I unwound from yet another very busy day, I read this meme that a friend shared, “Have you ever just cried because you’re tired? Not sleepy tired but tired of just being tired. That ‘I’m done trying but I don’t know what to do tired,’ that ‘I just need a long hug’ tired, that ‘I don’t want to cry but I don’t know what to say either’ tired, that ‘God, please just tell me what to do next’ tired. Just tired.” As I read those words, I thought to myself, “yes, Lord, that’s me. I’m that kind of tired.” Sometimes at the end of a really trying day, we feel as though we are only hanging on by a thread. We feel that we have reached the end of the rope, and we try to tie a knot an hang on, but hang on…there’s a lot of Hope at the end of that rope!

We were busy at work yesterday. That’s nothing new with my dear, sweet friend COVID visiting us in the clinic daily. I’ve learned lately to keep an attitude of gratitude, and that attitude is making every crazy chaotic day much more pleasant. Yesterday wasn’t a bad day, but bad news happened. Someone I love dearly was diagnosed with COVID. He’s doing great, and is very healthy so he will likely fair well. Most people are recovering rapidly and doing well, but that old devil is our fear monger and reminds us of the ones who didn’t do so well, and he tries to get us to take our eyes of of Christ and fill our heads with worry. I’m reminded of Ms. Clara’s statement (from War Room) from my post yesterday. I’m claiming it! I say look out devil, you are about to get your butt kicked. I’m keeping my trust in Christ!

Later in the day, my aunt, who is much more like a big sister, called. She was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma four years ago. She had a liver resection and treatment, and has been doing so well. She is the picture of health, but yesterday her CT showed a tiny little spot at the incision site. The doctor’s feel that the cancer has returned. They are fast tracking her for a PET scan, surgery, and putting together a treatment plan. At first glance, we see the bad news, and it seeps into our hearts and heads and we experience a full range of emotions from anger to fear, but then, God jumps in the middle of those emotions and He reminds us that we are not in this alone. There is hope. The tumor is tiny…the size of a Cheerio. It can be removed surgically. Advances have been made in treating this type of cancer over the past four years. The physicians are better equipped to treat my aunt now than they were four short years ago. Maybe…just maybe…God put that cancer at bay for four years until a complete and total cure could be given. I say look out devil. You are about to get your butt kicked again. I’m keeping my trust in Christ!

Life gets hard, and when we get to the end of our rope on days like yesterday, we have a few choices. We can tie a knot and hang on to the rope. We can recognize that this struggle is teaching us something that we need to know. Or, we can realize that as God’s children, we are going to endure suffering that is much too hard for us to handle on our own, and we learn to lean on God with all that we are. We can curse God in the storms of life or we can embrace Him. I choose to embrace Him. God has brought me this far, and I’m in it for the long haul. I’m in it to win it. I’ve already proclaimed victory in the name of my Father, and He has always been faithful.

We are all dealing with our own set of difficult circumstances with each passing day. Sometimes it feels like that rope is worn down to a mere thread, but today I remind you that there is hope at the end of that rope. Don’t focus on the circumstance. Don’t focus on the end of the rope. Focus on the HOPE. When we focus on God during these difficult circumstances, He not only sustains us, but He also fills our hearts with joy. Joy? During these tough times? How can that be? The joy comes from knowing that we are saved, and our loving Father will sustain us and carry us through. When we finally recognize that God is in control, we can let go of that rope and fall into the loving arms of our Savior…safe and secure. There is Hope at the end of the rope, and that Hope is Christ Jesus!

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