Reaching the “end of your rope” is the worst feeling.
You feel defeated.
You feel overwhelmed.
You feel helpless.
You feel fearful.
My husband and I are currently walking in an “end of our rope” circumstance right now, and we are completely overwhelmed. It is all we can do it hang on.
If you’ve reached the end of your rope, too, then let the words of Ps. 61:1-4 strengthen you.
Ps. 61 is a “hang-on-to-your-rope” kind of song, written by a “hang-on-to-your-rope” kind of guy.
In Ps. 61, David is at the end of his rope. He has just experienced the brutal betrayal of his beloved son, Absalom, who usurped his throne in grievous ways (2 Sam. 16:22). At the time David wrote this song of praise, it is likely he had just mourned the death of his smooth-talking son and was still in hiding unsure of the tenor of Jerusalem toward their king.
Despite his own contributions to the situation, I can imagine David felt defeated, out of control, fearful, and maybe even a little angry at how his life had played out. It’s how I would have felt (and felt yesterday, as a matter of fact!)
David had reached the end of his rope. So, what did he do? Throw a pity party? Give up? Seek retribution? Let resentment seep in his heard toward God and his remaining family?
No. Instead, David asked God to do three things in his life. Three things that God still desires to do for us today when we find ourselves clinging to the end of frayed circumstances.
1. DAVID ASKED GOD TO LISTEN (Ps. 61:1-2a).
Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
The phrase “from the end of the earth” means more than geographical locations. In the original language, it’s a metaphor for “coming to the end of your rope.” David was at his end. And instead of giving up, he cried out to the One person strong enough to save him.
I’m not sure I always do that. I wonder how many vise grips on the ends of a rope I could have avoided if I had asked God for help sooner, if I had sought out his grace sooner, if I had relied on his strength to pull me up the rest of the way?
Sometimes, the reason we find ourselves dangling from a precarious cliff is because we allowed ourselves to get too close to the edge without turning to Him in the first place.
2. DAVID ASKED GOD TO LEAD (Ps. 61:2b-3)
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.
David is painting the picture of God lifting him out of his circumstances. God does that. When we turn toward him and follow his leading, not only do we quite often find ourselves on the right path, but we can also find ourselves free from problems caused by sin.
That’s not to say that we’ll never find ourselves in dangerous situations. But we will have the security of knowledge that God has lead us exactly where we wants us to be. When God leads, he saves. But he also protects.
3. DAVID ASKED GOD TO HIDE HIM (Ps. 61:4)
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.
Instead of returning to Jerusalem to claim his throne after the rebellion, David declares his desire to abide in God’s holy tabernacle. Specifically, inside God’s tabernacle rested the holy ark of the covenant covered by the grand wings of the cherubim. 
David’s desire to abide under the wings of the mercy seat is very interesting. For according to God’s Law, only those from the tribe of Levi could enter such a holy place. And from this tribe only one man – the High Priest – was permitted to enter only once a year to offer sacrifices on behalf of the people.
David’s desire to dwell with the King is a statement of trust. He is viewing his circumstances – the tragic events he recently experienced and his physical separation from God – as temporary in nature. David had spiritual eyes. And he asked God to hide his soul in the mercy seat, pictured as the strong wings of the cherubim.
David asks God to do a lot more in Ps. 61. But above all, David learns that the only way to cope with a frayed rope is to lean into God’s promises (Ps. 61:5-6).
God’s Word promises us much. God promises to hear us when we are overwhelmed by life. He promises to lead us in the path of wisdom. And He promises to hide us in Him so we will not ever be fully defeated by sin.
No wonder David ends his song on a note of praise. Let’s do the same and cling to God’s promises together!
So I will sing praise to Your name forever,
That I may daily perform my vows. (Ps. 61:7)
Hang on ladies! Don’t give up! Cry out to God, follow his leading, and hide yourself in Him. Praying for you today!
Thank you to Creation Swap for the awesome background image!
 John Phillips, Exploring the Psalms, 488.