Let the Rope Come to You
Pat Layton, She Speaks! Graduate

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." Isaiah 32:17 (NIV)

When I was very young, my dad taught my three sisters and me how to water-ski. You might imagine the amount of patience that took! We would go out in our family boat into the middle of the lake where one of us girls would jump into the water. Then we would each take our turn around the lake as many times as we could go without falling.

Once you fell, another sister was waiting to jump in and take your place. If I fell too soon, before I was ready to give my turn up, I would struggle with all of my might to grab the ski rope back and try getting up again before another sister jumped into the water to take my spot.

I remember gathering up all the 8-year-old strength I could muster to get to that rope back into my hands. I floundered and struggled in the water with all that gear attached to me - a life jacket that seemed the size of a small car and water skis that seemed a mile long. I would get exhausted trying to get to that rope in time not to lose my turn.

One day I remember my dad calling out, "Pat, just relax, lay back on your life jacket and I will bring the rope to you!" And he did. I would rest in the water and my dad would drive the boat slowly and carefully around me until the ski rope would just float right into my hands. No struggle, no fear of missing it, no one jumping in and taking my place.

After 22 years of women's ministry, I have often found myself or watched a sister in her struggle to grab something she was afraid she might loose. A ministry spot, a child, a husband, a friend.

Sometimes, we feel that if we don't struggle and strive, we will lose our "turn." That somehow, what God has called us to do, have or be, will be missed or that another "sister" might jump in and take our spot. When those times come in my life, I try to remember the words of my dad, "Pat, just let the rope come to you."

Maybe you can relate. Have you been struggling to make something happen in your life or to protect a position or opportunity that you are afraid you will miss if you don't strive for it?

Let's listen to the words of our Abba Father, let's just relax in the moment and trust God to "bring the rope to us." If it's His best for us, He will do just that.

Abba Father, thank You for reminding me that You have control of the boat in my life. You will not let me miss my turn, Lord, when I'm following You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources: Do You Know Jesus?

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be: A 90-day Guide to Living the Proverbs 31 Life by Donna Partow

A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God's Love by Max Lucado

Application Steps:
Write down each thing that is going on in your life that feels like a struggle to you. List the things you want to do that seem to be slipping away. List relationships not going the way you wanted.

List dreams not coming to fruition. Write anything that creates a feeling of stress or struggle in your heart. Then read Jeremiah 29:11 and pray it over those situations.

Consider the things that you have written and ask yourself: Have I been in this spot before? How and when has God shown Himself faithful to complete something in my life without my having to do a single thing but reach out and take hold of it?

Power Verses:
Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (NIV)

© 2009 Pat Layton. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Teresa said...

All I can say is WOW Pat!!! This devotion today is right on point with my life at this season. Having so many "attachments" in my life that I need to get a handle on such quiet time, family life, career, pt job, household, going to grad school etc...the weight of the struggle gets so heavy at times. It is sometimes difficult for me to have that quiet confidence when I know GOD is for me. As the scripture says, GOD already knows "the plans he has for me". I know I do need to relax, stop exhausting myself and allow HIM to work out "all things together for my good". Thank you Pat for your great illustration and putting it all into a divine perspective. No struggle...No Fear! Amen!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder to just be still and wait on God. Floundering around does nothing except exhaust us. This was a great devotion this morning, something I certainly needed to start the day off right...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sitting here in tears of relief after reading this devotional. So powerful and so what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you!

Blogger Marilyn Fox said...

Yes, I remember those days of learning to ski. I was told the same thing just relax and wait - I will bring the rope to you. I appreciate this great reminder. Thanks.

Blogger jordansmom said...

Today's devotion was crazy! I felt like you were sitting right here with me counseling me. I just left a worship leader postion at a church. I served for 4 yrs, and resigned at my husbands request due to issues he was having with others that went to that church. Since then we have begun another church. This worship team also wants me to be a part of the ministry. My husband doesn't think its a good idea right now, but I have been fearful that if I don't get involved right now that I will "miss my turn". I used those exact words. Also, Jeremiah 29:11 was the scripture that God gave me when I had to sorrowfully resign. The word "know" in that scripture means to "possess information about". God possesses information about us that we don't know. He sees way ahead. he sees our life now, and remembers where we've come from. He uses all that to plan our lives for a future and a hope in times when we feel hopeless. So, I will wait on God to bring the rope to me and I will not stuggle. I pray that I will not miss it when it floats my way. :-)

Blogger MelissaTaylor.org said...

Dear Pat,

I ditto so many of the words aleady written in the comments above. I'm sitting in the Proverbs 31 office right now at my desk and when I read your devo I said to LeAnn, "This devotion was written just for me, I know it was." So I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words were very timely for me and exactly what I needed today! Praise God and thank you for writing!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminds me of when Peter walked on the water,Jesus called him out of the boat,Peter started walking but than the wind and waves scared him and he began to sink,and he cried out for Jesus to save him.
How many times in our lives does God call us out of our "boat"? we do good for a while but then we lose sight of our God because of all the strife,turmoil,grief,pain,sin and other problems in our life and we begin to sink! Then we have to call out to God to help us.
Let us all keep focused on Him,our One and Only Savior!
God bless you all!

Blogger Glynnis Whitwer said...

What a great message for all of us to hear. It has so many applications. And it brings me back to the question, "Do I REALLY trust God? Thank you for reminding us of the character of God.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been in survival mode for 14 years, following divorce. My husband and I were in the inner circle of everything at our church as we led the praise and worship, taught classes, served in various ways (floral arrangements, banners, painting, etc.) and were respected and loved "leaders and giants of the faith" so to speak. I had to leave my home (in a home-school congregation); 14 years later I am very displaced in my church and have been replaced by one of my friends in every thing I did. Even things I did years ago she has gotten all the credit for...we are still friends but it has been excruciating to be "forgotten", and admonished to rejoice in all my trials - while the women enjoy their homes and their husbands and being "kept". They haven't a clue about living alone at 60 with no family, no money walking through the door, no help to do anything, poor diet, no physical pleasure, the exhaustion and sleep deprivation. I am on the outside looking in on the fellowship at the church much like one incarcerated not-guilty. I know the Lord Jesus and His Word and have never doubted Him, I have kept the faith! But I have struggled with the very things you so aptly pictured for me, and find my heart comforted this morning with your words. I have been WAITING for a long time now but am encouraged that I am doing the right thing, and pray that HE will prompt me when it is HIM floating it to me again.

Blogger Marilyn Fox said...

My prayers are with the sister who is now single and so alone even in her church after being so involved with her husband.

Anonymous Rosie said...

I am so thankful for this post today! I was really struggling with fighting to maintain a friendship that I was worried was fading away. Instead I'll just wait and "Let the Rope Come Back to Me!"

Blogger Pat said...

Wow, ladies, thank you for your welcome and encouragement! God is so good isn't He! Always showing us His love and His personal attention to our every need.
This "rope come to you" story is one that I have to constantly remember myself.
Blessings girls! I am so happy to meet you here at P31!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It reminds me of Ruth when God called her to live a new life in an unfamiliar place with her mother-in-law. She wasn't even hunting for a new spouse, but the Lord led Boaz to be her husband.

God is amazing and full of good surprises!

This reminds me that the Lord can orchestrate everything when He wants me to have a husband in my life as I wait for His (perfect) timing! :)

Anonymous Andrea said...

Thank you, Pat, for the wonderful word and powerful reminder to completely TRUST JESUS!


Blogger EllenP said...

Pat, your words convicted me in my seat when I read them this morning. I was just praying with a dear friend last night about tension in a specific church ministry. She reminded me to step aside and let God take charge, just as you did -- beautifully worded and perfect for this season in my life. I'll be on the alert for Him to throw me that rope or patiently watch it land where he directs it!

Oh my how that devotion touched me! I've been there and done that but could not put my finger on exactly what the problem was until I read your devotion today.

So often in my past I have secretly held on too tightly or tried to "grab onto something I might loose." My mother died while I was still in my thirties and my father a few years after that. Then soon after my daughters grew up and left the nest. etc... etc... And there are other things, but each one of them caused this panic and fear within me to do whatever it took to not let go. I did not leave it in God's hands. Instead I conitinued to strive and struggle all in my own weak strength, and I often missed the rope of peace and love that my Heavenly Father was trying to give me.

Over this past year, I have grabbed the rope and moved on to see so many wonderful things God has purposed for me.

Thank you Pat for such a powerful devotion today. I will not forget your story. It gives me a great picture to refer to when I'm tempted to struggle on my own!

Aware of the rope,

Lee Ann

Blogger Rob Bailes said...

Great Devotion!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow God is good! I struggle w/ jealousy. I have always been too good to quit, but not good enough to succeed. I want to succeed Gods way. Help me Lord to encourage and not be jealous.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a blessing this morning to read this and perfect timing. I am struggling with most of the same things the women above have mentioned and this is a wonderful reminder that God is in control if I just sit and wait patiently for his direction. Thank you P31 girls!

Blogger Melissa Milbourn said...


This is such a great devotion!!

thank you so much for writing it!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this devotional! I feel that God led me to this one...I've been dealing with infertility and struggling with submitting to God's will when my husband and I would love to have a baby so much. My heart is so blessed by reading this today. I want to relax and allow God to work His plan in our lives. I really like the verse in Jeremiah. Thanks again for writing this!

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