At the End of My Rope

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to memorize a new passage of scripture each month. For August I chose Romans 7:15-25 in the Message translation. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Apparently I bit off a little more than I could chew with this passage! The truer statement would be, for August AND July AND June, I chose Romans 7:15-25! It took me a while but I think I’ll finally make it! 😉

I feel like this passage came directly from my heart! As a food addict with binge eating disorder, I cannot tell you how many times I have said to myself that I simply couldn’t understand why I kept repeating the same destructive patterns over and over again! I would do well for a while but then inevitably something would happen and I would slip back into a period of sitting in my house stuffing myself sick with high fat, high sugar foods. I know all too well how this behavior makes me feel: miserable! But I felt like I could not stop. Eventually, I would get fed up with the natural repercussions of my binge (sleepless nights, clothes beginning to fit too tight, shame leading to feeling distant from God) and I’d “get back on the wagon”.

I don’t know exactly what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was, but based on Romans 7:15-25 (MSG), he struggled with the same vicious cycle I do:

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

So today as I was working on memorizing this passage (2 more days left in August…2 more sentences to go! Woohoo!), I got to verse 24:

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope

It struck a chord in me. “I’m at the end of my rope”. How many times have I repeated that very statement to the Lord? I could picture it. My living room full of Krispy Kreme boxes, McDonald’s, Wendy’s & Jack n’ the Box wrappers, and empty cartons of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry New York Cheesecake ice cream. Then in a moment of utter desperation and hopelessness I would cry out, “God! Help me! I’m at the end of my rope”! And there it is. The place God had been trying to get me to for however long I’ve been ignoring Him this time. That is where I will always find Him. At the end of my rope.

I’ve always heard it said that “God will never put more on you than you can bear”. As a matter of fact I’ve quoted that very sentiment many times from stage. But you know what I realized? That verse does NOT say God wouldn’t put more on us than we can bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13 promises that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear (which makes it a great scripture to quote when tempted with food…or anything else. Here are some more.). There is a difference. You see, I believe God WILL allow us to be in circumstances beyond our own abilities to endure. After all, if we could bear it on our own, we would try to! But that is not where God wants us. He wants us at the end of our rope, because that is where we finally recognize that we cannot handle it ourselves. We need Him.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened…” (Matt. 11:28 NIV)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me“. (Php. 4:13 NKJV)

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (2 Cor. 12:9a NIV)

If you find yourself at the end of your rope today, know that that is exactly where you should be. For it’s at the end of your rope, that you’ll find Jesus. He is with you. He’ll never leave you or forsake you. In the middle of a whatever difficult circumstances you are facing, He may very well calm the storm  around you (Mark 4:35-39) or He may allow the storm to rage but cause you to walk on water (Matt. 14:23-32). However He chooses to work, our job is simply to keep our focus on Him and trust in His strength. If you do, He will bring you out STRONGER!


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  1. Mistie Palmer says:

    Wow! This is so profound. I definately needed to read this. Clarity!

  2. Jessica Shipman says:

    Thank you for this!!! I needed this, I’m struggling so much that I literally feel as if I’m losing my mind at 24 yrs old. I can’t remember what I need to when I need to and there’s not enough time in the day for such a chaotic life! Thank you for lifting me towards Him! You’re awesome through Christ!!

    Much Love,

  3. cheri says:

    I really needed this God given advice today, it was defiantly one of those days!! I always try to turn to God in my time of need & you & your music help with the inspiration u give me everyday: with your music displaying your true love for God, you inspire us all*

  4. Bahar Hart says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this Mandisa, it has given me much to think about in my own peronal relationship with Jesus Christ! I won’t go into detail about what I am going to say however something happened three years ago that affected my walk with & personal relationship with Jesus Christ/God & here I still am struggling b cuz I have not been able to come to terms with what happened! God still heres me & answers my prayers & well as provides for me but I haven’t been able to move forward, I now have a lot of talking to do with God b cuz I cannot contue to live like this anymore! Thanks for giving out a revelation & knowledge for us all to lear from! HUGS. BAHAR HART

  5. Sheila says:

    Mandisa, thank you for sharing this…just what I needed … God bless You more!

  6. Debra says:

    Thanks for that encouragment…I am sad to say I’m glad I’m not by myself with the weight loss struggle…It is true about misery loves company…thanks to God my misery is getting less & less as I hit my 111# loss mark Glory be to GOD in the highest…hang in there everyone the end is closer than you think in more ways than one..God bless all

  7. Tina Benoit says:

    I needed that! Thank you for posting!
    I’ve also heard it said, “When you get to the end of your rope… let go! One of two things will happen: Either God will catch you… or …. He’ll teach you how to fly!”
    Blessings Galore to you, sister! You are such an encouragement with your honesty and ability to be just be “Real”.

  8. Kathy Comeans says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I battle the “fight with food” also. I seem to have absolutely no metabolism and have to work very hard to lose weight. In the past I have exercised and still gained weight! I feel I can’t let go mentally and do what God has for me to do until I can get my weight off. I am so embarrassed to be around people! I do well on my diet until someone that is supposed to love me hurts me to the very core, and I can’t deal with the pain – that is when I go to DQ for a peanut buster parfait!!! I need to overcome this — and have such good intentions!!

    I agree, God does allow more than we can bear — and we turn to him when we can’t take the pain any longer — that is when God can work more in our lives because we realize we have no strength – we don’t try to do things on our own because we can’t – and we allow God to have control again!

    Today I was reading a book on Prayer ad Fasting, it says that God is bigger than our circumstances. I have heard this before, but today it really sunk in. God is bigger than the many problems I have, including this battle with my weight. Getting closer to God can bring healing in our lives. Also, this book says that we know in our hearts that God wants us to do something great through him — but we are too preoccupied with other distractions! We don’t want to wait until we stand before God, and realize it is too late — that we missed out doing what God has for us to do! I want to be there to reach out to hurting people that need to know about God’s love for them, to use the pain I have experienced in life to grow — and to reach out to others, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But like your scripture says, we have such good intentions but so many times end up defeated!

    Thanks for sharing your scripture. It is so encouraging!

  9. Linda Hulse says:

    Thank you Mandisa for being real. I consider it an act of spiritual warfare when we open up and say it like it is. That ol’ enemy ain’t got NOTHIN’ on us (I know that’s not proper English. ) when we refuse to hide what’s going on inside us. There are countless men and women who go through the exact scenario you just described…including me, but knowing our Deliverer hears our cries for help when we are at the end of our rope means WE WILL NEVER FAIL! Praise be to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

    Love your message and your music, Mandisa! You rock big time in my world!

  10. tracy bates says:

    Thank you Mandisa! Not only do I need to hear this so very often, my dear friend really needed it. I forwarded her this link. I totally agree with these verses. Sometimes God uses the suffering of this broken world to detatch our hands from the things of this temporary world and attach them to Him. God bless you!

  11. Rachel Platt says:

    Definitely what I needed to hear after a rough day!

  12. Cheri says:

    Thank you for this post! Just what I needed to hear!

  13. Mandy says:

    Thank you! So beautifully and honestly worded. Your vulnerability is lovely and encouraging to those of us with similar struggles.

  14. Candy says:

    I am going through one of my darkest moments since losing my only child to cancer 10 years ago. I am going through my own journey of cancer. So I needed to see this post at this time in my life. Thanks for sharing, Candy

  15. Robin L. says:

    Thanks my friend needed this today and every day.

  16. Mandy Holtsclaw says:

    I’m so glad to finally hear someone else say what I’ve been saying for so many years about 1 Cor. 10:13. I just told someone the other day that the verse was about God not tempting us more than we could bear, but when tempted he ALWAYS prepares a way out. I told them exactly what you said, that he does put more us than we could bear because if he didn’t we wouldn’t realize our need for him. Enjoyed the blog today!

  17. Kelly says:

    I totally appreciate this post! Inspired by you I memorized Psalm 18:31-36 over this weekend when I was feeling discouraged about a slow weigtloss week. It has definitely put the spring back in my step! As always…thanks for being real!

  18. Donese says:

    Thank you for this message, Mandisa! I often find myself “at the end of my rope,” and forget that is exactly where I’m supposed to be because only then will I realize that I’ve been trying to do everything on my own, without my Savior. Why do we always do these things to ourselves?

  19. Yvette Hegler says:

    Thank you so much for posting this today. I also struggle with my weight but unfortunately it has brought on health issues that has forced me to loose weight. I pleaded with God so many times to help me loose weight and He always provided the tools and I utilized them for a while and then went right back to my old habits and because of that at my young age of 42 I am having to deal the circumstances of my over eating. I also have another bad habit I have been trying to break ever since I got saved, I continually shy away from any type of ministry work that I have to really dig deep in God’s word and study scripture in order to lead a ministry. I feel God telling me I need to prepare myself but I always feel like I am just to stupid and do not understand his word enough (even when I do study it) and my ministry will be a failure. I know that is just the work of satan and God wants me to succeed but my old thoughts and past get the best of me. I have a lot of past issues I have not dealt with openly and they are hindering what God is calling me to do. I try to turn to food still but with my health issues it really makes me sick when I do so instead I turn to things of this world like getting to involved with facebook or playing games on facebook. What a waste of time. Thanks for posting Mandisa and thanks for being you.

  20. Rachel Patt says:

    For the past month I have been struggling through life. School, work, and family responsibilities. With the tornado that ripped through my town on May 22 everything has changed. I have lost my job, at school I feel more alone than ever, my mom has left for school last week for a year. I struggle and have been addicted to awful things. And the worst part: I have been trying to do this on my own. I don’t usually have time to go through my tweets, but today I clicked on yours. You said everything I heard from someone at school and what my best friend has been telling me for two weeks. Thank you!

  21. Tiffani Goodin says:

    Great post! That’s what I needed to hear after I blew it once again today!

  22. Savannah says:

    Sitting here in tears after reading this. This was the exact thing I needed to hear. Thank you!!

  23. Amber Meyer says:

    Thank you so much for this. I’m a boredom binge eater and I feel this way so many times. I feel like such a disappointment to God, to myself, to my husband…it gets really frustrating to be so good and then fall so far when struggling with food issues. I always forget to leave this in God’s hands. I think I’m strong enough to handle it, and I am for a minute. Then that minute is over and I’m back where I was, putting food into my mouth. Food I don’t even want.

    Thank you again. I need this right now, and Jesus knows this.

  24. sheri says:

    A timely message. Thank you, Mandisa! I am looking so forward to hearing you at wof phoenix! And you look marvelous!

  25. Heather says:

    Oh Mandisa! How awesome to hear your heart & your struggle with this. I know it will minister to so many women (as it did me)!!! But PRAISE the LORD you know there is a Helper who cares & LOVES you for YOU, even in spite of your weakness!!! If He gave us what we could handle, there would be NO need for God!! It’s one of my BIGGEST pet peeves when people take that out of context. You are loved so much and such a blessing to me through your music & meeting you in Florida last year was a major highlight in my life! Continue what you’re doing and doing it for the Lord!!!

    Love one of your biggest fans,
    Heather C. from Spokane, WA

    1. Terica M. McKennis says:

      I echo this Heather!!! What a ministry Mandisa has!!!! I didn’t know who she was until I recently heard one of her songs on K-Love and happy to say she is listened to at least daily in our home. I love her as well as her ministry. I love how she has submitted herself and dedicated herself to reaching heights that men dream of reaching. People need Mandisa in their lives to help keep them motivated as well keeps their faith stirred up in the Lord. There is no goal or dream that can not be obtained. Only believe in God and keep his word as the center of your focus and everything else will work out fine!!!

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