When You Get to the End of Your Rope…

woman standing in front of brown wood plank
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“I wish he’d just die.”

The exhausted and exasperated wife of an early onset Alzheimer patient looked at the floor as she shared her frustration.

“There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Her husband had been slipping away for six years.

“How much longer can he last?”

He’d gone through the degenerative stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. First, he lost his job because of the yet undiagnosed amyloid protein in his brain. For a while, he could stay at home alone and even drive, but the day came when they took his keys. Later, she sent him daily to an adult day care, but then she placed him in a nursing home.

Her spouse died since our conversation. She said she can’t believe she expressed her frustration in such a way. But, at the time she was suffering. The dementia sufferer wasn’t her vibrant husband, but the mortal shell of the one she remembered and loved.

She was weary and hopeless. The tunnel seemed long, without end. The author of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament gives this advice:… and let us run with endurance the race… set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus… so you may not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1 NASB.

Franklin D. Roosevelt advised, “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

In our most difficult days, it helps to seek a power greater than ourselves. It’s not a weakness but a source of renewal to lean on God. The way a weightlifter downs a protein drink before his workout, we should accept the energy available to us through Christ.
In 1922 Helen H Lemmel wrote the hymn Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus. The words encourage me.

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness, you see:
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus Public Domain

In the unfathomable depth of our dreariest hour, it may seem our suffering won’t end. But when we concentrate on Christ, our cares diminish, and our hope increases in the One who is the source of our strength.

© Copyright 2018 Ronald Milburn