Long ago, discipline on British sailing ships was harsh. Punishment could involve the lash, cat-o-nine-tails, even keel hauling. A victim was tied to a rope and pulled – invariably drawing him under the vessel. If he survived he was suspended from the yardarm, left hanging, or hung-out-to-dry for a predetermined length of time. Not a welcome fate. (https://superbeefy.com website)
Is this how you feel? Abandoned? Dejected? Worthless?
Watching the comings and goings of birds in my garden, I noticed two grackles battling with what appeared to be a twig. They were having a tug of war with the object in their beaks. Only when they relaxed for a moment and dropped the ‘twig’ did I realize it was alive: It was a worm, that they were warring over.
As it fell from their beaks, it landed on a branch below them, wriggling but unable to propel itself back to safer ground. It was literally hanging there, an upside down U, and in great danger.
As it hung there the grackles both moved in to regain their quarry. The worm fell again. This time it was out of my sight, but its fight for survival continued. I fear it must have lost the battle. It was either gobbled down the throat, or throats of the birds, or perhaps they gave up and left it hanging there; where it would slowly die, unable to return to the comfort of its home.
We can feel that way occasionally. When day-to-day events leave us unable to cope. We long for our comfort zone; long for relief. Often there is none forthcoming. We become helpless in the struggle to survive, whether it be relational, financial or work-related. Just like the worm we can feel powerless. We are hung-out-to-dry, with no energy or escape available to us.
If only we could have stayed in our familiar territory, we’d be much safer. It is often too late when we realize our choices have compromised our moral, ethical, and personal standards.
That hapless worm had no hope of survival, but we do have another option. God.
There are many promises in the Bible to aid us in our daily lives. Here are some reassurances to that might give you comfort, and strength to carry on.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (NKJV)
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me. (NKJV)
If, at this point, God is not your thing, reach out to a trusted organization for help. There are many resources available to you – but you have to ask. That can be hard, because to a certain extent, you are admitting failure and we all like to think we know what is best for us. Social services or a good church can be great places to seek (safe) help.
Don’t know a good church? Visit different ones; attend Sunday services until you find one that you feel comfortable in. Then you can reach out to the pastor and share your concerns, and benefit from their counsel.
Sharing your challenges with someone can be cathartic; can be a life-changer: A life saver.
Just Never Give Up! You are more valuable than you think.