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  • Writer's pictureDeahna Tipton

Rivers, not Ropes

Updated: May 15, 2021


It's another sleepless night. Another tantrum. Another frustrating phone conversation. Another mess. Another ache or pain. Another argument with my spouse. Another failure. Another bad mood. Another day of putting things off that I know I should be doing.

It all piles and piles and piles on top of each other, until I feel like I am about to lose it. And who could blame me?

My cup is empty, my rope is at its end. I have no foothold with which to cling to my patience, let alone my joy or anything else.

And so it happens...subtly, easily, I let go of the fight, and allow myself to slip into defeat. I accept that my striving for virtue (namely patience) that day is a task that is no longer reasonable to expect of myself, and that I failed once again.

But, after all, it's been such a hard day.

This cycle of defeat used to make perfect sense to me. Until I learned who Jesus really is.

In the gospel of John, Jesus says, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" (John 7:37-38)

If anyone thirsts. Well, that's me. I don't know about you, but I thirst for a lot.

I thirst for fulfilling, sustaining joy. Come to me and drink.

I thirst for fortitude that I don't have and patience that seems ever elusive. Come to me and drink.

I thirst for humility and kindness even when I don't feel like it. Come to me and drink.

I thirst for giving and receiving love in an authentic, true way. Come to me and drink.

Jesus is the water that can quench my desperate need for joy, for patience, and all of my shortcomings.


We don't have to be emptied each day and desperately try to fill ourselves enough to get through the next day, only to be emptied again. We aren't going to magically one day have the ability to accomplish perfect patience, joy, kindness, fortitude, humility, peace, love, and faithfulness.

But thankfully, He has something to say about that too: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

His grace is sufficient. So instead of that rope constantly dwindling in my head, I am going to envision a never ending river of graces pouring into my near-empty cup. I don't want my rope anymore. I want that river

How about you?

Lord Jesus, today I give you my rope. I give you the amount of stress, negativity, manipulation, exhaustion, and disappointment that I think that I can take. I know that alone, I will reach my rope's end and my cup will empty every day. Holy Spirit, pour into me a river of living water - your never ending source of grace. When I am weak, your power is made perfect. I will never be perfect, but you can mold me into who you always meant me to be. Ravish your power over my life and help me to remember that whenever I thirst, all I need to do is come to you...and drink.


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