Frustrated. Out of patience. Ready to give up. Can’t do anything more.
That describes days when I am “at the end of my rope.” It seems that trying to get anything done is like an uphill climb.
Have you ever felt that way? And what is a person supposed to do at that point?
Some people say, “tie a knot and hang on.” It is a cute cliche but does not tell you realistically what to do.
Origin of “at the end of my rope”
“The term at the end of one’s rope is primarily an American phrase, though it may be traced back to the 1680s. The idea is of someone who has been thrown a safety rope and has run out of length. At the end of one’s tether (a similar cliche) also means to be at the end of one’s strength, endurance, or patience.” (1) (explanation added)
When I am at the end of my rope I have no more patience or energy left to cope with problems.
Examples of “at the end of my rope“
It never fails! Every time I get out hoses and sprinklers to water the lawn in our hot climate, they get tangled.
Then when I try to untangle them, the residual water in the sprinkler ends up squirting me, usually in the face. UGH.
Equally frustrating are extension cords. On the farm we need long ones and oh can they get tangled.
Then there is small yard equipment that invariably needs some kind of fixing before it can be used.
Some people call these “first-world problems” because so many around the world don’t have lawns, hoses, cords, or lawn equipment.
What about you? What frustrates you? Share in the comments.
The Bible talks about being “at the end of my rope”
Does the Bible use such terminology? No. But it does talk about frustration and patience. It also warns about how we talk when we are at the end of our rope.
When “at the end of my rope” turns into anger
“Be angry, and do not sin.” Psalm 4:4 ESV
Often our frustrations turn into anger, which is normal. But what we do with that anger can be a problem.
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Colossians 3:8 ESV
Frustration brings out the worst in us sometimes. It can be hard not to say things that are obscene or that hurt others.
What to do when we are “at the end of our rope”
God gives peace to those who keep their minds on Him. (from Isaiah 26:3)
Isn’t that what we need when we are at the end of our rope? Peace and calm?
So what are some practical ways to keep our minds on God?
- Give thanks for all the other things that are good (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As we give thanks, our attitudes and feelings change.
- Pray – about your anxious feelings. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God … will guard your hearts and your minds …” Philippians 4:6-7
- Ask God to forgive you if you cross the line from anger to sin. You don’t want to add guilt to your feelings of frustration.
- Don’t keep thinking about the thing that frustrates you. This may take some effort because we sometimes have to take our thoughts captive.
Does God care when I am “at the end of my rope?”
Not only does God care, but He totally understands. When Jesus was here on earth, He was tried and tempted in all the same ways that we are today.
There were many times when Jesus was frustrated and at the end of His human rope with the disciples and the religious leaders.
Jesus cares so much about our frustrations that He told us to bring our burdens and frustrations to Him. (Matthew 11:28)
The writer of 1 Peter repeated this thought when He said:
“Casting all your anxieties on him (Jesus), because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 ESV (explanation added).
When I am at the end of my rope, Jesus wants to help me. He wants to help you too.
If you don’t know Jesus, you probably have questions. The people at Chat About Jesus have answers. You can text, call, or chat with them online any time of the day or night.