A story is told about a mountain climber who liked to climb tall mountains for fun
and to impress his friends. After years of preparation and training he felt he could
handle any mountain terrain in the world, regardless of the degree of difficulty.
During a climbing trip, with five other men, he decided he would make the final climb
to the summit, solo, so he could get there first and claim the glory, while the others
After the rest of the climbing party turned-in for the night, he put on his climbing gear
and headed toward the summit. As he started his climb, he was very glad there was a full
moon to help him see where he was going. Although it was foolish to climb at night, alone,
he did use a rope and put in good piton protection as he climbed. With the benefit of the
full moon, he made rapid progress up the mountain, in spite of the fact he was climbing at night.
His confidence soared as he neared the summit, but unfortunately, thick clouds were starting to build
around the mountain, and visibility was deteriorating rapidly, as a winter storm developed.
In just a few minutes visibility dropped to almost zero, as heavy clouds and fog surrounded him.
It was now too late to turn back, so he continued to climb up the mountain, hoping the storm would
blow by quickly.
While moving along a narrow traverse, now in total darkness, he got into some “rotten rock,”
and slid down the side of the ridge and over the edge of a cliff. The good news is the protection
he put in held, and he was still alive after the fall; although he now found himself dangling
in the air, suspended from his rope, unable to see anything around him. The bad news is,
he had loosely tied his outer heavy parka across the top of his backpack while he was climbing,
and he now discovered he had lost it during the fall.
Slowly the cold night air from the storm began to chill him to the bone through his lightweight
inner jacket. After struggling to turn himself around in a circle, and not finding anything to
grab onto, in desperation he cried out, “Oh dear God in Heaven, please help me!”
Suddenly, from above he heard a strong deep voice boom out, “Cut the rope!” “What?!” As the
climber listened over the wind, once again he heard a deep voice say, “Cut the rope!”
Except for the wind, silence followed, as the climber continued to hang onto the rope, while
hoping to be able to grab onto something that would enable him to climb to safety.
Unable to see his true situation, the climber concluded, as most people would, that hanging
onto the rope was his only hope.
The following day, the rest of his climbing party discovered him frozen to death,
still dangling from his rope -- only eight feet above a large out-cropping of rock.
Had the climber cut the rope, he would have dropped down to a relatively safe area,
where he could have built a fire, using some of the surrounding scrub brush, and probably
survived the night.
From this tragic, hopefully fictional story, we can learn about trusting God.
Do you look for security in a “rope” of some form? Or, are you willing to trust
God with the many things in life beyond your knowledge or control?