Unwrapping the ropes of fear, one bite at a time

Calf roping at a rodeo.
Image via Wikipedia

An eight year old girl arrived at home following a rodeo her family attended.  She had become enthralled with the calf roping cowboys.  Knowing her dad grew up on a farm, she begged him, “Daddy, tie me up like those cowboys did.”

The wise father tried to push away the thoughts and distract her with toys or television, but she wouldn’t be swayed. “Tie me Daddy, I can get out!”  She insisted.

He puzzled over the idea and decided to do it.  Not too tightly, but firmly he wrapped her hands and legs with a rope, so she couldn’t escape.  She lay on the living room floor, stuck.

When he offered to remove the ropes, she said, “no, I can get out.” While keeping an eye on his struggling daughter, he left her seemingly alone. She struggled for several minutes until tears welled up in her young eyes.

That’s what its like when fear grips us.  We feel bound and alone and incapable of escape.  We convince ourselves of our control over the situation, but the fear moves in.

Maybe it’s happened to you.  You have dreams of a better job or a nicer home, but fear wraps itself around your heart.  You imagine places where you could submit an application,  but because of the fear of getting turned down, you don’t even send it.  Maybe your issue involves relationships, when to start them and when to end them, and you feel just as trapped.  We’ve all felt that feeling at some time.  We feel as tied up as the little girl on the floor.

Do you wonder what happened to her?

After allowing her to struggle, the dad returned and suggested he could loosen the ropes a bit.  By this time, she readily to received his help.  He loosened a knot and instructed her to try something drastic.  “Honey, use your teeth,” he stated.

Her eyes lit up, knowing she could escape like all the superheroes who’ve been trapped in her favorite cartoons.  She too can defy the odds.  She tore into the tough, yellow rope.  She yanked at it, one bite at a time.

That’s what happens when we ask for God’s help to face our fears.  He shows us the ropes, so to speak.  He loosens the tough ones and shows us what we can do.  If we trust Him, with the same genuine enthusiasm of the little girl, He enables us to succeed in ways we could only imagine.

Jesus tells us to become like a child in Matthew 18:3 .  What if our attitude toward facing difficulties and receiving instruction resembled that of children?

That little girl tugged and bit her way free multiple times.  She became so thrilled with success, she asked her daddy to do it again and again.  The more she practiced, the better she got, until she felt no fear.  She simply saw the challenge to be tackled.

How do I know this story?  Because I’m the girl.  Because I feel fears like everyone else, but long to learn to overcome them.  Today, I bit another rope and released a knot in my life as a magazine purchased my first article.  It doesn’t mean I won’t feel fear again, but I’ve seen I can get released, so I’m willing to keep trying when times get tough and so can you.

My Choice Today:

Face my ropes without fear, ask for help, and tug away at them, one bite at a time.

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