This week at our house:
Me: What do you want for breakfast?
Preschooler: Peanut butter pancakes.
Me [fifteen minutes later]: Here’s your breakfast!
Preschooler: WHAT IS THIS?! I HAAAATE PEANUT BUTTER PANCAKES!!!
Me: [silently Googling how old a child has to be to go to boarding school overseas]
Pre-kid, I sometimes felt at the end of my rope. There was the season I worked three jobs while in English lit grad school.
There was the forever-and-a-day season when I was ready for a marriage proposal and Daryl was taking his sweet time. [Ok, it was really only six months, but it FELT LIKE FOREVER.]
There was the season I worked three jobs while in seminary.
There were bad roommates, financial difficulties, and unreliable cars. There was Celiac disease and a nasty bout of mono.
Sometimes I was at the end of my rope.
Then kids happened. Suddenly I found the end of my rope regularly. Daily. Sometimes hour-by-hour in those first few hazy newborn months when all is spit-up and nursing and diapers and exhaustion so bone-crushingly-real that falling asleep standing up sometimes happens.
The end of my rope and I quickly became very well-acquainted.
Now I sometimes look forward to having a better handle on my life years down the line. Maybe when the kids grow up I’ll feel less frantic, I think. Maybe when my life isn’t all snack-packing and butt-wiping, I won’t be at the end of my rope so often.
Then I came across Matthew 5. The Beatitudes. Jesus’ most famous teaching, when he gathers his disciples up on a mountainside to tell them how the world really works. What they should expect from the kingdom.
He says to them:
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
Um, what now?
Back in seminary I learned that the Greek word for “blessed” can also be translated “happy.” That seems to make this verse even more mind-bending.
I’m happy at the end of my rope? Clearly Jesus has never been the end of MY rope, if he thinks it’s a cheery place. But wait… maybe that’s exactly where he is.
At the end of my rope.
At the end of yours.
As Jesus says, “With less of you there is more of God.”
Turns out that there’s a whole lot of goodness at the end of our ropes if we are willing to let go of them and fall into the arms of the one who loves us so dearly.
What’s at the end of your rope?