Sep 6, 2022
“At the end of your rope” can be a very scary place to be. However, it can also be a place of hope and peace and growth. Let’s talk about that.
It was Thanksgiving time and we were getting ready to have the whole family over at our house. Most of them live in the Twin Cities, 12 total. This is something that we do every year.
I don’t know what food your family likes to serve at your Thanksgiving celebration, but several years ago we decided to do something a little different for ours. We decided to do a Thanksgiving breakfast. So we would lay out a traditional southern breakfast spread for everybody just to give them something a little different rather than having to eat two big turkey dinners in one day. We would have scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, grits, biscuits and gravy and cantaloupe. It’s something that everybody looks forward to and spending time together is obviously a wonderful thing.
But the virus that shall not be named had other plans for me and Cindy. A week before Thanksgiving, Cindy came down with symptoms and that changed all of our Thanksgiving plans.
Cindy and I had it all figured out ahead of time what we would do if one of us got sick. We were going to mask, glove up and stay in separate parts of the house. Well…that plan only lasted about two minutes.
Cindy got pretty sick pretty quick. There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in South Florida that I was going to leave her in a different part of the house in the condition she was in. So I was in full nurse mode if you will. I was attempting to be careful around her but at the same time to be fully attending to her, setting alarms throughout the night to check for fever and monitor her oxygen levels.
One evening, she was especially in a bad way. She was in her recliner next to mine covered up under six blankets and she was still having mad chills. I had never seen her this sick before. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and 40 years of marriage went through my mind. Forty glorious, sometimes very difficult, years. We’ve been through so much together.
EMOTION EXPRESSED THROUGH SONG
It was right around that time that I started writing some words to the song, Have You Ever Felt. You think of David in the Psalms and how he would hit emotional points in his life and he would write the psalms or songs that ended up being psalms. You could hear his heart through these readings. I kind of felt like that. And I just poured my heart out as I wrote.
The first verse says:
Have you ever felt, the weight of the world on your shoulders
Have you ever felt, the days just seem to get colder
The nighttime seems longer, you don’t feel any stronger
There’s only one way out
This was November and certainly the days were getting colder and the darkness was longer than the daylight at this particular point so there were some natural occurrences happening. But the nights were very long for me as I was trying to sleep but concerned about Cindy and setting alarms and taking temperatures and giving medication and then trying to go back to sleep which was very difficult. But I needed to sleep because I needed to be attentive in the daytime.
END OF MY ROPE
I really was at the end of my rope and crying out to God knowing that He was my only way out. He was Cindy’s way out in this particular moment also. I don’t want to be overly dramatic and say that I thought Cindy was going to die because I didn’t, but I wondered if she needed more than I could give her at this particular point.
We knew of a few people praying for us but decided to go ahead and send a prayer request to our Friendship Church family through the website. Within a few hours of sending that prayer request, Cindy started to improve. Sensing the power of prayer and experiencing the love and kindness of friends lifted us in an amazing way and we were able to press on.
So here’s the chorus:
I know where my help comes from
I know who puts breath in these lungs
I know the one who calls me by name
Who breaks all my chains
Meets me in my pain
I know You, I know You
Psalms 121:1-2 in the New Living Translation says:
“I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!”
I truly was crying out to God for help. Even though we started to see some improvement, I had never ever seen my wife this sick before. And there I was, looking at her and continuing to pray and asking the Lord for help.
This might be a rhetorical question for you but have you ever been at the end of your rope and needed God so desperately to answer you and give you help? I once heard it said that “God’s address is at the end of our rope.”
I’m not going to be able to explain it but I will try to put it into words. This amazing peace came over me as I was looking at my wife and writing these words. Even as I was putting a melody to it and recording that on my phone so I wouldn’t forget, there was an incredible amount of peace that came into the room. And then I started thinking, I think everybody has felt this way before. In some form or fashion, we have all been at this place in our lives. Probably several times as a matter of fact.
It’s good to reflect on these things and to talk about these times so that we can know and experience the goodness of God and be reminded of the goodness of God in our own lives as well as the lives of other believers. Sharing these testimonies is a huge thing and we want to celebrate what God is doing.
The bridge of this song is fairly simple but it was just a continued part of the whole cry of the song.
Oh God my deliverer
All my trust is in you
I’ll renew my mind
And let your spirit move
Romans 12:2 says in the English Standard Version:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 ESV
The renewal of my mind! Allowing God to work in my mind. I have to say yes to that. So I did and I do. So I let His spirit move in our situation. It’s so interesting that when you practice this, it gets easier and easier and more natural to renew your mind in whatever the situation is. Philippians 4:8 in the Message version says “It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” That’s renewal for sure!
Isn’t that something? We have to practice spiritual principles in order to experience more of what God wants for us. So we have to practice spending regular time with God every day, undistracted. We have to practice applying scripture to our lives on a daily basis in all situations. We have to practice walking like Jesus walked and talking like Jesus talked and doing the things that Jesus did and sharing life with other believers. And the more we practice spiritual principles, the more real they become in our lives! What a great motivator to start now, dig deeper now before the next tough thing happens!
So my question for you today is, have you ever felt the weight of the world on your shoulders? Have you ever felt that there’s no way out? Have you ever felt that you’re at the end of your rope?
I have most wonderful news for you and for me! Our help comes from the Lord! That is incredible news! It’s in Scripture and I want to live this out with you. If you have something specific that I can pray with you about or if you’d to share your end of the rope story with me, please contact me through Ggsspodcast.com.
I pray this song will remind you of God‘s seen and unseen presence in your life and that you realize where your help comes from in a fresh, new way. You can hear the song at GGSSPodcast.com or any of the streaming platforms.
Cindy and I are so grateful to be healthy again! We acknowledge that the situation could’ve turned out differently; that all those prayers might not have been answered exactly like we wanted. We all know praying people who have lost loved ones. We hope this song will help them trust deeply in God‘s love and goodness in the midst of that pain.