A Rope of Hope

A story is told about a man on vacation in Africa. He was visiting a refuge and was fascinated by what he saw:

“As he was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds, but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. ‘Well,’ the trainer said, ‘when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.’”

I admit that this story might not be accurate in all situations, I am not an expert on elephants. But I do know that human beings are also affected by their “training.” If we repeat something over and over, soon it creates a rut in our brain and it is tough to ignore that pattern or break those “ropes.”

Everyone has their own set of ropes. Some struggle with cords of fears. They all get tied together, and pretty soon they are frozen in place. Some struggle with chains of arrogance and a lack of humility. They might be so consumed in their own world that they don’t even sense how they are choking themselves to death.

Others of us are all caught up in achievements. We get tied down with pursuing financial and other kinds of rewards. We lose track of time and focus solely on self-fulfilling goals. We handcuff ourselves to so many meaningless pursuits.

But based on our message last week, there is indeed a different kind of rope available to each of us. There is a “rope of hope.” According to the account in Joshua 2, Rahab was delivered when she prominently displayed the scarlet cord out of her window.

This week, I am thinking we all ought to focus on that particular rope, not all the ones that bind us! That scarlet cord represents the work of Jesus on our behalf. Because of His love, His mercy, and His grace, we are saved today and can look forward to being caught up into the spiritual realm SOON.

Sometimes people tie a string on their finger so they can remember to do something. This week, how about we all tie a bit of red yarn on a finger and let it be our reminder to worship the Lord for our redemption? There is a rope of hope and we all need to cling to it!


Sherry Worel

Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.

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