"It Never Breaks"
August 20, 2011
... He (God) has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5b-6
It's been a number of years since I visited the mountaintop monasteries of Meteora, Greece.
They are a site to see. Their inaccessible locations gave the monks an opportunity to remove themselves from the cares and concerns of the world. Those monasteries also became -- because of their impossible position -- places of solitude, safety and security.
Up until the last century, goods, and the rarest of individuals -- visitors -- had to be winched up in a basket that was hand-powered by the monks. What with the basket swaying and swinging, those who made the ascent found the ride to be a terrifying experience.
The story was told to me, and I can't verify its truth, that one of these tourists confessed to getting nervous about halfway up the cliff. That was, at least in part, because he noticed the rope seemed old and frayed.
Wishing to relieve his fear he asked the monk who was riding in the basket with him, "How often do you change the rope?" Without a moment's hesitation, the monk dryly commented, "Whenever it breaks!"
That kind of response doesn't give a person a feeling of absolute security, does it? Maybe that's why so many of us feel insecure as we live our lives.
Think back in your life. How many persons or things have let you down? Maybe you've had a friend who betrayed you, or a stock which tanked out, or a job which didn't soar as had been expected. It can get so bad that some folks feel their entire life has been a disaster -- all because we put our faith in ropes that eventually break.
This is why the love of the Lord is so incredibly important. The grace given to us by the Triune God is a constant. There is no way it will fray, no possibility it will get old, no chance it will break and send us crashing to the rocks below.
Understanding the rock-solid stability of the Lord's commitment to His people, the writer to the book of Hebrews could confidently declare that since God has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," so can we confidently say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"
What can man do? Well, he can let us down, but the love of the Lord shown in the crucified and living Christ will not.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in a world where so little is constant and so much can't be counted on, we have You. When others leave and forsake, You are there. When things let us down or fall apart, You are faithful. Grant that I may be equally faithful in my appreciation of You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries