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Eternal Perspectives: Hanging on by a Thread

As a kid, I was enthralled with the trapeze artists who performed at the circus. How could they possibly keep from falling? What magic held them up so high in the air? Such feats gave new meaning to the term “hanging on by a thread.” Ever feel that way?

Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair

Hanging On

One cold, rainy day I dropped my young children off at a relative’s before the relative had arrived home for their visit. My youngest son, about eight, knew where to get the house key, so we designated him to climb over the yard fence to retrieve it. My other two children and I remained in the warm, dry car.

He climbed the five-foot fence, balanced his feet on the top horizontal plank, and crouched down to jump to the ground. Seconds before he jumped, we saw that the back of his winter jacket was caught on the top wire of the fence. Too late to stop him, we watched helplessly as he jumped. His arms and legs swung free as he hung by the edge of his jacket. Knowing he wasn’t in any danger, we couldn’t help but laugh at his predicament.

Talk about being left high and dry! Before I could help him, I heard one jacket button pop. The next one flew into the yard as he dropped in a heap to the ground. We still laugh about it.

Sometimes we’re left high and dry. Circumstances sometimes put us in precarious predicaments, which leave us wondering if we can hang on to the thread of sanity or emotional stability. For instance, we may feel unloved or unworthy and feel like life is hardly worth the effort anymore. Perhaps our bodies betray us with an illness. Or we may experience the loss of a loved one. All these and more may leave us with the hopeless feeling of dangling in midair.

We can count on God’s love and acceptance, however, no matter how we feel, no matter what we’ve gone through, no matter how we’ve botched things.

The Message version of 1 Corinthians 13:7 tells us that love “never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” What a promise! When we choose to accept God’s great love for us, we no longer have to feel that we’re barely hanging on by a thread. We can believe that His love surrounds us like a winter jacket whose buttons will not let us go to fall in a heap, as they did my son’s. In his case, the release of the jacket buttons’ thread brought him release. In our case, we can tighten our hold on God’s love and mercy. In either case, we don’t have to hang by a thread.

Lord, thank You for Your Word which promises that Your love never fails. Life may have its threadbare moments, but with You in control of our lives, we receive the strength to keep going to the end. In Jesus’ name we ask for Your strength today. Amen.

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