When You Reach The End Of Your Rope
2 Kings 4:1-7
Intro: Ill. James Dobson tells the true story of a little toddler named Frankie. He was a handful to say the least. One day he pulled a chair over to the front window of his house, and carefully placed it inside the drapes. He was standing there staring out at the world when his mother came looking for him. She spied his little white legs protruding beneath the drapes, and quietly slipped in behind him to see what he was doing. She got there just to hear him say to himself in very somber terms, I’ve GOT to get out of here!
The End Of Your Rope
Do you every feel trapped? Have you ever felt like you were at the end of your rope? What do you do when you reach that point? The realist would say,” Just tie a knot and hang on”. The pessimist would say, “You might as well let go it’s only going to get worse”. The optimist might say, “Just tie another knot and keep on climbing”. Each of those has its merits but, in reality, what can you do?
Some are in that very place today! You are at the end of your rope and there is a long drop beneath you and you do not know what to do.
• What do you do when you are facing problems with your children that you cannot solve?
• What do you do when your marriage is on the rocks and the crashing waves of hopelessness are unrelenting?
• What do you do when there are problems at work and it seems that there is no way out?
• What do you do when you have too much month left at the end of your money?
• What do you do when you have followed a loved one’s body to the graveyard and you cannot escape the loneliness, the grief and the pain?
• What do you do when your heart is broken, your dreams are shattered and your hopes have been dashed to bits on the cruel rocks of reality?
• What do you do when you are walking through a spiritual wasteland and there seems to be no way out?
I don’t think anyone but the Lord has the answers to all those questions. Yet, there may be some help in the verses we have read today. This passage tells us about a poor, widow woman who was at the end of her rope. She did not know what to do or where to turn. In her pain and her poverty, she did the only thing that she knew she could do: she turned to the Lord. When she did that, God came through for her in a very big way!
This passage teaches us the glorious truth that God has a plan for our problems. These verses show us that just as God took care of this widow, He will take care of us. This passage lets us know that when we reach the end of our rope, there is help and there is hope. I want to take these verses and share a few lessons that should be of comfort When You Reach The End Of Your Rope.
GOD KNOWS OUR PROBLEMS
A. There Was Despair In Her Family The word cried means to moan; to weep uncontrollably; to shriek out of grief. This word identifies the sound of a broken heart. This woman comes to the man of God at the lowest moment of her life. She is in desperate straits! (Ill. Have you ever been there?)
B. There Was Death In Her Family She was married to one of the sons of the prophets. These were the men who were in training under Elisha to be the prophets and preachers in Israel. Her husband, her lover, her friend, her provider, her protector, had been taken away from here in death. She is broken because a loved one has been taken away. (Ill. Have you ever been there?)
C. There Was Debt In Her Family Since her husband is dead she cannot pay her bills. As a result, her creditors are coming to take her sons away as slaves so they can work off the debt. This was allowed under the Jewish Law, Lev. 25:39. She has been deprived of her husband, now she is about to lose her sons as well. She is over her head in debt and she doesn’t see how she can make it. (Ill. Have you ever been there?)
D. There Was Devotion In Her Family In spite of all her problems, she is still held firm in the grip of faith! She needs help, but she does not turn to her family or her friends. She does not try to find someone to loan her more money. In her desperation she turns to the man of God for help. Elisha was God’s representative on earth and he was her best hope. She reminds Elisha that her husband did fear the Lord.
Her life has been a life of devotion to the Lord and in her trouble, she still trusts Him and turns to Him for the things she needs! In spite of her pain, her problems and her lack of possibilities, she still looked up to God for the help she needed! Even though she couldn’t see a way out, she knew that she couldn’t see everything. Even though she didn’t understand everything she was facing, she still believed that God cared and that He could do something about her situation, so she cried out to Him in faith!
(Note: There are some lessons in this verse that we do not want to miss.
• At some point, every person reading this is going to arrive at that low point of life. There will come a day when you will reach the end of your rope. Some have already been through it and can testify about it. Others are there right now and are looking for some help. Others will arrive there someday. We will all have our days of trouble and trial, Job 14:1; John 16:33.
• When you reach that point, the world, the flesh and the devil are all going to tell you that God doesn’t see and that He doesn’t care. The fact is, He does see, Pro. 15:3; 2 Chr. 16:9. He sees everything you are facing. Not a single thing is hidden from His view. And, He does care, Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 5:7. He cares more than you know about what you are facing.
• These verses are designed to teach us that our problems, while they may appear to be insurmountable in our eyes, are really just Gods opportunities in disguise. Therefore, no matter what you are called on to face in this life, learn to turn to the Lord first for the help you need. He cares! He is able! He loves you! He will work in your need!
The End Of Your Rope