End of Your Rope

John 20:11-18

Ever notice that it seems like God waits till we completely deplete ourselves of human strength, then surprise. The author of our existence, the creator of all things created knows that as long as we think we can do it ourselves we will try. But once we come to the end of our rope then God says surprise! I do believe Jesus really loves to surprise us, but He knows His creation better than we know ourselves.

In the book of Judges, there is a perty well known account of a man named Gideon. Later today go take a look at it because there is a lot of good stuff in it. God had told Gideon that he was going to be used to deliver Israel.

In this 7th chapter we see a mighty army was raised. Listen to what God said.  Jg 7:2, “And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”

Things haven’t changed much have they?

So Gideon asked, if you’re scared, go home. 22,000 said “see ya”. There were still too many for God’s purposes. Before it was over with only 300 remained. 300 against an army. That’s more to God’s liking. 

It is sad that God has to so often get His creation to the point of despair, before we will finally stop and listen and begin to trust Him.

  • Mary’s Surprise. John 20:11-18
    • Mary had already come to the tomb that day and ran back to get the men. After they had inspected the tomb and left, Mary stayed.
      • As she stood there broken hearted and confused she looked in the tomb.
      • She was clearly frazzled. She saw two fellers who were not there to begin with and it didn’t seem to register.
      • Then Jesus himself spoke to her and she was thinking of the gardener/caretaker.
    • Mary was at the end of her rope.
      • She didn’t know where her Savior’s body was. Everyone left and went back. Here she was alone, exhausted from the previous days.
    • When Surprise! It’s Jesus!
  • I believe Jesus loves to surprise us. 
    • He could have made a grand entrance.
      •  Show up in a radiant light show with an Angelic orchestra or rock band.
      • Could have done something kool with the weather. Thunder, lightning, wind, something out of the ordinary.
      • He chose to simply speak her name,
    • In the bible there are many times that Jesus shows up when folks are at their wits end and surprises them.
      • Of course you cannot help but think of Lazarus.
      • (Mark.9:14-29) a daddy helpless and hurting for his son. He is wanting his son to be healed. He brings him to the disciples but no luck.
      • Jesus shows up. You can almost hear the hopelessness in the daddies  voice when he speaks to Jesus.
      • (Mr 9:24) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
      • Here it is. Surprise! (Mr 9:27) But Jesus took him (the son) by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
      • You have the woman who had nothing left because of her disease that reached out and touched Him. The ruler whose daughter was already dead. And on and on the list goes.
  • Here is Mary, broken, hurt, uncertain facing uncertain times.
    • Jesus calls her name.
      • Some of us are worried, anxious, maybe even a little confused. Can I remind you of something we tend to forget?
      • All times are uncertain.
    • We have almost all had them. Life is going one way one minute and totally derailed the next.
      • A few years back we were going to have a special presentation for one of our former Volleyball players who had died. I had forgotten to bring my notes. I drove up to the house turned around in 2-3 minutes coming back down, I find my bride and three granddaughters upside down on the side of the road. In what used to be her car.
      • Uncertain of any minute.
    • God is the God of the uncertain.
      • Whereas we might not know what the next minute brings. 
      • Might not recognize what God is putting before us.
      • One thing is for certain. When you are His, YOU ARE HIS.
    • You can be for certain:
      • Ro 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Jesus loves to surprise us.
    • He wants to surprise you with how easy it is to trust Him today.
    • He wants to surprise you to know, even though you haven’t held up your end of your promise He still loves you and wants you.

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