When you come to the end of your rope…

A rope is tied to the side of a wooden bench.

Eleven years ago, I was there – at the end of my rope. Holding on by threads, I knew if I let go I would plunge into a bottomless pit of despair. When cancer strikes, and death comes, and your life is changed forever, you are numb from the pain of loss. Any strength you’ve had is gone, drained from your body and your emotions by the exhaustion of grief.

I would find myself smiling one minute, like everything was normal, and slipping into unbelief the next minute – all while trying to maintain my sanity in a world that didn’t seem to skip a beat to its own rhythm. I grappled with God. â€Why?†I pleaded. “Let me wake up from this nightmare.â€

Perhaps you have also experienced death and grief, along with pain and suffering. Your death could have been the end of a marriage or a relationship. Your loss could have been a job or a home. Your pain and suffering could have been a crippling disease or a debilitating illness. Maybe you are even going through something now. You find yourself at the end of your rope – holding on each day with all your strength, grappling with God, and pleading to wake up from your nightmare.

Over time, I began to release my anguish and began to rest in God. I prayed for God to breathe life in me so I could at least try to function on a somewhat fractured level of normalcy. I trusted Him to get me through each day . . . one day at a time.

And, He did, and He can for you too.

Day by day, He immersed me in His mercy and grace, showering me with His great love and kindness. His comfort and compassion soothed my aching heart as I began to cling to His word hour by hour. Sometimes that’s all I did in a day: hold my Bible and read out loud to myself. I felt God’s faithfulness as I’d never felt before. I discovered an intimacy with Him that can only come through unbearable grief or unimaginable loss.

Each day His strength became my strength, and slowly, sorrow and joy became one. I have known great sorrow, but I have also known great joy because of Jesus.

I still miss Bill like crazy and think of him every day. With each passing year, I have, and will continue to get through this life-changing loss as I move forward with my focus on Christ.

Today, eleven years later, I find myself holding on to the end of that rope again. My mind seems consumed daily with the stress of a COVID spike, the national situation, and the Arizona fires – all of which seems to press in around us and then slowly becomes a part of us. Fear of the unknown, anxious about when it will all end, concern for family and friends . . . it can seep through our daily lives like water seeps through a sponge when it can hold no more.

But our ropes my friends, are not just ordinary ropes. They are a visual reminder that the strands of our life are woven tightly with God’s faithfulness, His word, His promises, His hope, His strength – and our prayers, our trust, and our perseverance. Even when we feel like we are at the end of our rope, it is strong enough to hold us. You see, God will never let us go, our part is to never let go of Him.

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. I Peter 5:10

From My Heart to Yours,

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Susan Miller