Hanging From the Ropes of Life

hanging from the ropes of life

I was petrified. The dictionary definition says, ‘So frightened that one is unable to move.’

That was me, 9 metres high above the ground, standing on a wobbly piece of wood, only 18 centimetres wide.

At both sides of my body, level with my head, each fist was wrapped tightly around a thin piece of rope that swayed as my knees shook in fear. This was the moment I was expected to let go of each rope and catch another two which seemed so far in front of me, that I could only reach by leaning forward and falling to my death.

If the two 7 year old girls who were behind me knew what I was thinking, they would have laughed. Having originally been in front of me, they had already completed the course and were now positioned at the back of the queue, desperate for me to stop acting like a baby and get on with it.

hanging from the ropes of life

But I couldn’t. All I could see were tottering platforms suspended from the ceiling so that whenever anyone placed a foot onto them, they would shake to the left, to the right, backwards, forwards and in a wobbly circle. To make matters worse, I had only just begun the 35 metre course and so there were many more obstacles to tackle before I would complete the trek and come back to a steady surface.

I looked back at the instructor who was shouting persuasive words in my direction in the hope that I’d realise that even if my foot did slip, I wasn’t going to fall. However, although I could see I was strapped into a safety harness, all I could focus on was the ground beneath. It was a white roof covered in black netting. But the net had large rips in it and beneath those rips I could see gaping holes in the roof, revealing nothing but darkness.

“Have people lost their footing before and wandered into those cavities, never to be seen again?” “Is that a bloody arm I can see reaching up to me for help after a tragic descent last week?”

hanging from the ropes of life

 

I looked back again, desperate for the instructor to somehow come and get me. I didn’t care how foolish I looked – all I wanted was to be lifted up and taken bodily back to a piece of ground that had a concrete foundation.

To my horror, he showed no empathy and gestured for me to move so the 4 people waiting behind could carry on being the High Rope Heroes they were.

At another point, I stopped again, this time pleading with the Lord to give me the strength and confidence to do the impossible.

“Step onto the pegs and hug the pole.” came the bemused voice of the instructor.

As I flew onto a thick wooden pole, it swung side to side like a Newton’s Cradle at top speed. There were three more to go.

Well, I eventually made it through to the end and even though I was a little aggrieved that I wasn’t given a helping hand back onto safe ground, I was too busy thanking the Lord that I finished the course to be bothered with scowling at the man.

That was until he casually mentioned that sometimes when young children have a meltdown halfway round, he zooms across on his zip-wire and fetches them back.

I narrowed my eyes and glared at him intently. “You mean you could have come and got me?”

He smiled shrewdly and avoided my gaze.

Suddenly, displeasure turned to gratefulness as my mind was filled with the reality of God’s love for his children:

  1. God won’t always take us out of difficult circumstances, because he wants us to learn that with Jesus, we can get through them. The bible reminds us, ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ (Philippians 4:13)

 

  1. Even though it seems we will fall at the next step in life, we are being held up by him. He is our safety harness, that will never fray, snap or melt. In an arduous situation, nothing brings more peace than knowing we are secure in him. ‘The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.’ (Deuteronomy 33:27)

 

  1. The instructor was watching me closely. If I had slipped and ended up dangling in the air, or if I had remained petrified, he could have easily come to my rescue. God never takes his eyes off us and is aware of our every emotion. He truly will not suffer us to go through more than we can bear. ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.’ (Psalm 32:8)

 

  1. I was unaware that help was at hand should I fall. I am also not always conscious that God is waiting to help me, but my lack of knowledge of this fact doesn’t stop it from being true. ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’. (Psalm 46:1).

 

  1. The instructor did not really care about me. It is his job to keep the queues moving and he’s paid for making sure everything runs smoothly. When I landed back on sturdy pastures he wasn’t stood there applauding and telling me how he was routing for me to succeed. In contrast, when we feel like we cannot go on, God does not mock or roll his eyes in impatience. He is our heavenly father who cheers us on and delights when he sees us conquer a difficult task. His immense love for us means he will not leave us to face trials on our own. ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Deuteronomy 31:6)

The little girls, my husband and my daughter who had waited so patiently behind me, all went on to do 6 more rounds, including going backwards and doing it blindfolded. I may not have enjoyed my birthday treat, but I came away from that sky high adventure with a fresh appreciation of God’s love and a stronger faith that he is always with me.

hanging from the ropes of life

loneliness

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29 comments

  1. You are brave and courageous. You completed the course even though you were afraid. I would have been hanging right along side you waiting for someone to come take me to safety, too! And, yet, as you pointed out – we have the Lord God All Mighty Who will never leave nor forsake us. Well done, you!

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  2. My favorite part: “God won’t always take us out of difficult circumstances, because he wants us to learn that with Jesus, we can get through them.” Loved this. He wants us to see sometimes what we can do in His strength as the verse so eloquently states.

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  3. Sharon, this almost made me cry.

    Yesterday I got into a complicated situation taking care of a business matter on my computer

    Everything went wrong, and I thought I wouldn’t make it to the other side of THAT abyss, but I did.

    I got up this morning praising God for, once again, delivering me from a mess of my own making.

    Lord, help us learn to trust!

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  4. Love this! God is so faithful to us, even through the most difficult and challenging times. It’s so good to have a reminder of His faithfulness and that He has a purpose for our good even through the scary times.

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  5. Love how you took us through that terrifying high ropes course with you to illustrate those timeless lessons from the Lord! So thankful He is with us through everything, even if we doubt or don’t feel His presence!

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  6. Dear Sharon, I am SO glad you visited my blog, which nudged to come over here and meet you! I read your About first, which is my habit–and I nearly died laughing over your description of those scented wall plug-ins that might set the house of fire! You are a delight, my dear, and a Jesus-sister–so my day is blessed with a double-portion! I LOVE that you relate our God to a safety harness…so good. And everything you wrote in this post, including the Bible verses, is wonderfully true. May God bless you abundantly–for your great courage, and because His gifts are unmerited grace and favor! ❤ JL

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  7. PS: Do I have permission to post the lovely bird with anonymous quote (from GeniusQuotes.net) on my blog as well? I do LOVE it!!

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  8. Well done you!! That’s scary stuff and you did it. Major tick and hats off to you! I once did zip lining across these huuuuuge gorges in South Africa. Our instructor was rather aptly called Hope and when he asked if anyone in the group wanted to go and a duo with him, I leapt up and shouted yes, before any of the children could do so. (Clearly I’m not a good person, but fear had taken over … is my only excuse). Hope and I then whizzed at ridiculous speeds across said gorges together, with me wrapped around him like a monkey screaming, “Hope! We’re going to die!” My family sadly have it all on film and never have let me forget it. So you see, you ARE brave, and considerably braver than me.

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    • Ha, ha, ha! That’s a wonderful visual! I can just imagine you shoving the kids out the way (I’d have done the same then apologised later) I wonder if strapping, brave, young Hope has had many nervous fillies wrapping their legs around him and clinging on for dear life? Do you think he enjoys his job? I bet he comes home all smiles. I must beg to differ about me being braver than you though – I would never do that, nor bungee jumping. I’m too scared my eye sockets will dislodge and that my small intestine will change places with my oesaphagus. I’m definitely not doing anything else that involves having to wear a crash helmet and being tightly harnessed 🙂

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