The Rope





Once I heard a story about a man walking down the road and happened upon a little robin lying on its back, with its feet sticking up in the air.

“Little Robin, why are you lying on your back in the middle of the road?” the man asked.
“The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” the Little Robin replied.
“But why are your feet sticking up in the air?” the man pressed.
“Because,” said the little bird, “one does what one can.”

As I laugh at the little bird thinking he could hold the sky in the sky with his little feet, I think of all the things I can do to help others in this world. It may sometimes seem as  impossible to help as holding the sky up, but I can pray, listen, talk, spend time, help them accomplish tasks, and more. Sometimes life becomes so challenging we may worry about our ability to make it through tough circumstances. Help – Divine and human-  is a welcome blessing in times of need.

My favorite author, CS Lewis, wrote in ‘A Grief Observed’ that “It does not matter what we believe until its truth or falsehood is a matter of life and death. It does not matter how strong the rope is until we need it to hold us.” It has always mattered to me that the God I love and believe in is the Living God and the Way to Heaven and real Life and is able to help at all times and in all circumstances. We have His Word on it.

The Bible tells me, “Yet amid all these things, we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loves us.” Romans 8.37

It’s funny to me that I have not heard many sermons taught from Job. Most talk about his sustaining faith under suffering. Some quote he was a ‘righteous man.’ (1.8) Some quote the profound utterances he made, such as “my Redeemer knows the way I take and when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (23.10) and “though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (13.13) And my favorite is how I am reminded ‘God restored double to him after his suffering.’ (42.10)

I truly love all these references to faith under heartbreaking and profound suffering.
I only wonder why many omit what I consider the ‘meat’ of this book. I see Job as a suffering and sometimes angry man.
Let me add some sample quotes:
“my spirit is broken, my days are spent..the grave is ready for me..” 17.1
“my complaint is bitter..” 23.2
“..but my eye pours out tears to God…” 16.20
“let me alone, so I may speak: and let come on me what may” 13.13
“I am weary of life and loathe it!” 10.1-22
“why did You bring me forth out of the womb?” 10.18
“why do You hide Your face…as if I were Your enemy.” 13.24
‘(is it because of sin?) 13.23
“surely I wish to speak to the Almighty, and argue.. that He may explain the conflict between what I believe of Him and what I see of Him.” 13.3
“Oh, that my impatience and vexation might be..weighed and all my calamity be laid up over against the other (to see if my grief is unmanly.) For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea..6.1-30

As I read Job, it appears to me this man is suffering to the deepest part of his being. I, like Job, aspire to say, “and He Who vouches for me is on high.” (16.19) And Job also exclaimed, “Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance.” Job 13.16 (NIV)

I know heartache and suffering happens. God was Job’s rope and it was a matter of life and death to him if God was able to sustain him and bring him to a better place after his heartache and suffering ended. God is our Rope. He is our Deliverer. We can trust the Man Who died for us to be with us at all times and in all circumstances.

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