Tuesday, November 07, 2006

End of Your Rope

I woke up this morning feeling blue. I’m not sure why, but things felt somehow off balance. I tried to shrug it off and busy myself with the administrative side of ministry. My logic was if I don’t feel good, as least I can be productive. It helped for a few hours.

About lunch time I’d accomplished enough to satisfy my need for productivity and decided to pray. I poured my heart out asking God to reveal to me what was going on and why was I feeling this way. Heaven didn’t open, angels didn’t appear and I didn’t hear an audible voice. However, after a short while I did feel impressed to read the Beatitudes. Actually, I never got past the first one. Matthew 5:3 says…

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

This launched me into a study of the three key phrases in this verse, “blessed”, “poor in spirit” and “kingdom of heaven”. I checked out various translations, read commentaries and researched theological dictionaries. I usually enjoy this type of research and today was no exception.

“Blessed” means to be happy, not happiness based on external circumstances but rather on an inner certainty, security. “Poor in spirit” is a great term to study, there are many and varied opinions of its meaning. In a nut shell it means to have a humble opinion of ones self, to see yourself as destitute and bankrupt without God. The best short definition I could find for “the kingdom of heaven” was “The dynamic Reign of God, the assertion of God’s authority over the evil one and his deeds”.

With all of this theological research, employing the vast resources of the internet and my substantial home library, the clearest and simplest interpretation I found for Matthew 5:3 came from Eugene Peterson’s The Message

“You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”

You know what, that works for me

Father, where I’m weak, be strong. Meet me at the end of my rope. In every area of my life let there be less of me and much more of you. Make me holy. Make me humble, amen.

© Tom Zawacki 2006


  1. I love that, "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule." Thank you for sharing your heart. Know that you are truly loved.

  2. Thank you for your honesty and once again showing how to 'go where the life is.' Your words bring life each time I get to read them! Love you huge!