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 slept. 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
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?
Try to always remember: “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to
you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13.
[ By: R. W. Miller (editor @ SkyWriting.Net) -- based on a story account by Stephanie ]
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