I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Romans 7:24
Recently my parents transformed their wooden bench swing into two wooden seated rope swings. Before they moved from the home in which we spent many years, my brother, son and I enjoyed another rope swing that adorned an old tree in the front yard. What I recall vividly about each of these swings is the tightly woven knot at the bottom of each seat, and the shredded pieces of rope that sat frayed at the end of each of those knots.
The pieces of rope I feel I am hanging on lately.
It’s the second Tuesday of the month. Every other Tuesday our bus driver picks apples at his orchard in the county in which we live. Every other Tuesday we have a substitute bus driver. Every other Tuesday I shake my head “no” at this new bus driver, and take my youngest to school.
But, on this Tuesday, that little boy wouldn’t let me leave, and I walked out in tears.
God, I just can’t do this anymore. I am at the end of my rope, here!
And, by end of the rope, I meant, I was no longer holding on to the knot. Instead, I am holding on to the slowly fraying pieces at the end of that knot.
Hanging on the frayed end of helplessness.
Hanging on the frayed end of desperation.
At the end of my last strand of heartache.
Until I remember that knot. The knot that keeps me from slipping off those frayed ends. The knot that I can hold onto in the midst of my helplessness, despair, and heartache.
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus can, and does. Romans 7:25
Yes, that knot. The one right before all those frayed ends, is Jesus. God. His strength. The knot he wants me to cling to daily before I get weary enough to slip off the end.
So, then why do I continue to find myself desperately hanging onto those slippery ends? Because I go through each day trying to climb those ropes in my own strength.
How can I (or we) get this child to be less afraid to go to school?
What can I (or we) do to calm his fears?
How do I (or we) stand up and fight for what he needs?
And, so there lies the problem.
I can’t. We can’t. We can’t do anything alone. So, God allows me to slip off that knot until I finally call out to him. God allows us to get to the point where we are clinging to the frayed pieces of our messes. He doesn’t give us only what we can handle, but more.
He gives us struggles so that we will stop telling ourselves that we know how to solve all of our problems. We have got it all covered, or we can tackle our heartache. He continues to break us, so we have nothing left to do but hold on to the knots that holds our frayed messes together.
Until we finally start clinging to the frayed strands of our lives and cling to Him. The one who will solve our problems. Heal our hearts. Comfort us in despair.
The knot that will clean up this frayed mess. The knot holding this frayed mommy together each day.