Years ago, I read the book by Aron Ralston entitled Between a Rock and a Hard Place. It was a biographical story, later made into a movie starring James Franco called 127 Hours, about this 20-something who was hiking alone in a canyon in uninhabited Utah. In a strange course of events, he got his arm caught between a rock wall and an immovable boulder. He was stuck for five days. He had two breakfast burritos, about 1.5 cups of water and no way to communicate with anyone. And, he failed to leave a note, so no one knew where he was. To survive (skip down to the next paragraph if you don’t like gross stories), he decided to cut off his own arm with a pocket knife so that he could escape. Wow.
But, the larger story gives us more context about Aron. He was raucously independent and never took his mortality seriously. In the book, his unpredictability and wayward personality moved him to near-death experiences and actually cost him many of his closest friends.
In my mind, the most moving part of the book (and the movie!) is after he severed his arm that day. While bleeding profusely, he had to hike for miles out of the canyon. Then this rebellious one-armed young man, with bloody disheveled clothes with a body barely able walk, finally spots some people.
They are his help. When he sees them, he finds as much air as he can in his tired lungs and with dry vocal chords yells, “HELP! I NEED HELP!”
Even as I write those words, my eyes are welling up. Five days before, Aron was a young, athletic, seemingly invincible man. But finally (under insurmountable circumstances) he understood that he couldn’t survive alone. He knew he needed help.
The story ends well. But, what sticks out in my mind is the change over those five days in Aron. Do I realize that I need help? I’m not trying to say that every day for me should feel like Aron’s rescue day, but, maybe I shouldn’t approach the Spirit and his help so casually, either. Do I approach him with appropriate desperation or do I prefer to try it without him first? Do I recognize that the Spirit is the one who separates me from death or do I think that I’ve got life figured out? Do I honestly believe that the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in me?
I think I could use a better perspective of my desperation and a truer picture of the power of the Helper. Rather than working hard to control my life and then struggle with the anxiety that is sure to follow such a desire to control, I should cry out desperately for the Helper. And, maybe I should cry out before I actually become so desperate. Maybe I should realize I’m desperate already.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1
Posted: 7.3.2017 in Women’s Ministry Share: