“When Your Grip Slips”
January 17, 2017
“When Your Grip Slips”
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“He (God) gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29). “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble” (Hebrews 12:12).
When the mountain is steep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall
Most all of us can recall our Physical Education classes from Elementary through High School. I thoroughly enjoyed my PE classes at Truman High School in Independence, MO since I was reasonably athletic.
One of the optional conditioning exercises included several large thick climbing ropes that hung down from the gymnasium ceiling. Students would take turns shimmying up the ropes to the top of the gym and then back down. As I recall I needed to use my legs as well, unlike the man in the photo!
Do schools still provide these climbing ropes? It does seem like there could be a safety factor and thus dreaded liability since, in my high school days, it was just the climber and the rope. However I don’t recall hearing of any accidents. Now they probably have all kinds of tethering.
Yesterday we wrote a message about “holding on with a tight grip”. But today we consider what happens if your grip slips. Any analogy of the Christian life will likely have some deficiency. One of my favorites is a race, a marathon race which we wrote about last Friday. This is a Scriptural analogy since several passages liken our journey here below to a physical race.
So let’s consider another use with a climbing rope. God in His grace provided a rope for each of us. By faith we take hold of the rope and begin our climbing journey of Biblical instruction, faith, obedience and perseverance. The children’s song, “Climb, climb up sunshine mountain”, comes to mind although they’re climbing a mountain rather than a rope!
Climbing a rope is not easy and the ascent will challenge the climber whose duty it is, with just the grip of his or her hands and arm strength, to pull one’s entire body weight in one motion. Perspiration, due to holding tightly to the rope may even cause one’s grip to lose traction. Over time callouses will form and when inflamed the rope will burn. Weakness or the seeming impossibility of getting to the top can easily discourage even an experienced climber. Distractions below may beckon us back down, but our call is to keep on climbing!
“The experience of ‘hitting the wall’ in a Marathon is a picture of weak hands, feeble knees. The exhortation implies that the readers are acting as though spiritually paralyzed. This means to restore to straightness … to reinvigorate. The command to ‘strengthen’ comes from the word from which we derive our English word orthopedic.” (Precept Austin commentary)
When we’re battered and scarred
When we’ve spent our resources
When we’ve given our all
Are your hands weak or your knees feeble today? Are you dealing with setbacks that weary you along the way? Strengthen and lift up your hands today in faith and praise toward God. This must primarily be an act of willful obedience rather than an emotional response.
As you lift them up in obedience I believe you will experience the uplifting spiritual, physical and mental revitalization that Isaiah writes about in 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on
To press on
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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“Climb, Climb Up Sunshine Mountain” Video Cedarmont Kids
“Be Strong & Take Courage” Video Don Moen
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