The End of the Rope
I have a tendency to overcomplicate things.
I always have. I overthink and analyze, I research and I dissect until I can settle a matter in my head and in my heart.
To the privileged overthinker the Beatitudes can evoke more questions than answers. I read it and I begin to feel the tension I am living in; the pull between the Kingdom of God and the here and now. To the theologian this is a weighty piece of scripture to study and dissect. Biblical rhetoric abounds.
To the needy and the desperate, ‘those at the end of their rope’, there is no need for theological discourse or dissection of the Beatitudes. They are a life rope straight from Heaven into waters that threaten to engulf. They are good news indeed; a benediction, a balm, a blessing. They are simple and deep and can only be understood by people of the heart.
When Jesus taught the Beatitudes, when He stood on that grassy hilltop and breathed out the words and the way of the Kingdom, He was painting a picture of those whom belong to Heaven; the unlikely, the vulnerable, the ones who find no seat at the table whilst behind the scenes God is preparing a feast for them.
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule” (Matthew 5:3 MSG)
I read the words of Jesus and weep.
They are beautiful and revolutionary. They are so wonderfully upside down according to our way of thinking, yet they bring a perspective that is exactly the right way up.
I love the word of God; I do not love my inability to infuse my ordinary everyday life with it. I do not love the struggle to put those words into deed and the blurry lines that I allow myself in the name of grace.
Neither do I love my ability to lay down my Bible and pick up my phone to scroll and swipe and feel the pinch of insecurity and comparison as the weighty words of Jesus himself become a Pinterest worthy image to beautify my Instagram feed. We taut a different gospel, we may not intend to but we do. It sneaks into our thinking and our prioritizing, it even sneaks into our theology and we call it the favor of God.
Blessed are you who are powerful, and beautiful and who have an abundance of stuff. Blessed are the popular, the spectacular, the Instagram influencers and the ones living their best lives. Keep asking for more, name it and claim it, because blessing is your right and you better believe it comes beautifully packaged with a bow faster than you can say Amazon Prime.
The Beatitudes clash with the ways of the world. But what about when the Beatitudes clash with the ways in me and in you? What happens when I want to walk the path of self-sufficiency rather than brokenness? How do I hold in tension ‘having it all together’ as the ultimate goal of my never ending ‘to-do list’ with the words of Jesus that call me to a place of utter reliance on God?
We want to be blessed.
God bless me, God bless you, God bless everybody! We perhaps don’t want it to look like being poor in spirit or being broken for all to see.
Jesus teaches us that in order to enter the Kingdom, we must be broken, poor and emptied of ourselves. Ultimately, we must recognize our desperate need for God.
If you find yourself feeling broken and spiritually bankrupt today God speaks blessing over you.
If your to-do list remains undone and your self-sufficiency just won’t cut it, then hear Heaven‘s ‘hurrah’ over you. With less of you there is more of God.
If your avoidance of the end of your rope has left you exhausted with rope burns on your hands, then let’s hold them up to the grace and the goodness of God. He will meet you at the end of the rope.
As we read the words of Jesus in the first Beatitude, let’s not complicate them or overthink them. Let’s receive them as our lifeline straight from Heaven itself.
Let’s join together in a holy holding up of hands, a glorious surrender of our self-sufficiency, our desire to spin all the plates and then Instagram a picture of it.
Let’s raise up an army of women in rebellion to the ideology of having and doing it all, instead taking the sacred time to acknowledge our deep need of God.
It is in this place we will know, truly know, what it is to be blessed as Jesus meets us there.
Jo is a Jesus follower, a people lover, and a book worm. She loves bright lipstick, big earrings and silence and her perfect day would find her embracing all three whilst reading and drinking tea. She is married to the love of her life and has two gorgeous boys who are named after hero’s of the faith – Hudson and Smith. Together, Jo and her husband lead a growing Church in Lincoln, UK where Jo loves to teach the Bible and see it come to life for people.
Jo founded True & Noble in 2016. Her heart is to gather women and see them connect over the word of God.