The story is told of a helicopter that was called to remove eleven stranded skiers from a mountain top during an avalanche. The pilot deployed a rope ladder and instructed them to hang on. As they clung to the rope and flew away, the wind shear became treacherous when they flew over a deep ravine. The helicopter began to dip, and the pilot called down to the ten men and one woman clinging to the rope that the helicopter could only support the weight of ten people. So in order for everyone to survive, someone would have to let go.
The skiers began to grumble and fight among themselves, and finally the woman spoke up.
“Gentlemen, I have lived a life of service to my family. I have sacrificed all of my life for my children and my husband. I denied myself at every turn, even taking care of both my parents before they died. In light of that, I have decided that since sacrifice was the way I lived, sacrifice will be the way I die. I will sacrifice myself so that you all may survive.” When the men heard this they were overcome with gratitude, and immediately every single one of them took their hands off the rope and burst into applause!
But on a more serious note….
For every one of you who lives a life of service to your family, who makes sacrifices for their welfare, and who works tirelessly to provide for your household: we see you. You live a life of frequent self-denial so that others might thrive and be happy. But make no mistake…DON’T LET GO OF THE ROPE.
Joshua 1:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
That, right there, is your rope. The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Grab ahold of him.
I remember once seeing our preschool’s two-year-old class walking to the playground. The teachers use a long rope with multiple loops with handles, and the kids hang on to it as they walk. Yep, we got kids-on-a-rope right here! And you know those kids hang on for life.
So too should we. We need to hang on to God for dear life.
Joshua 23 (The Message)
8 Hold tight to God, your God, just as you’ve done up to now.
9-10 “God has driven out superpower nations before you. And up to now, no one has been able to stand up to you. Think of it—one of you, single-handedly, putting a thousand on the run! Because God is God, your God. Because he fights for you, just as he promised you.
So the next time you’re falling into bed well after midnight because you were up finishing the laundry, helping a child with a science project that they only remembered after dinner is due tomorrow, or fixing the garbage disposal, know that God was there. When the alarm goes off at O-Dark-Thirty tomorrow morning, realize that God will be along for the ride as you commute to work for another long day.
God honors your sacrifice. You are a blessing to your family. So hang on! God is God…YOUR God. You are never alone.