The Elephant and the Rope: An Inspirational Story

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This is a story I heard many years ago as a young Christian. I’m glad I heard it at that time in my Christian walk. I had given my life to Jesus and wanted so badly to become the kind of Christian that could become a role model for other Christians. My motivation for doing so was my intense love and appreciation for Jesus for rescuing me from what would surely have become a disastrous and tragic life. He washed my sins away and gave me my life back, and put it on a blessed course. But, becoming that person was far more difficult than I could imagined.

I came to realize that I had a great deal of transformation in my thinking, attitudes and behaviors to work out. My many stumblings and failures coupled with the constant accusations of Satan for even thinking I could become that person, were brutal. But then I heard this story below, and was told these two scriptures, Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And, Philippians 1:6 (NLT) “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

These verses became my promises from God to press forward knowing that though I’d never be close to perfect, I could become a decent role model for others. They lifted me into a new determination that I have never backed away from since. I do not know the author of this story although I heard Zig Ziglar tell it.  I pray these verses and this story will help build a new determination in you to become what God has put in your heart.

The Elephant and the Rope (Author Unknown) 

As a man was passing by an elephant, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that this huge creature was contained by only a small rope tied to his leg. There were no chains or cages. It would seem that the elephant could, at anytime, easily break away from this rope but for some reason, didn’t.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why the elephant just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” the trainer said, “When they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. This elephant could at any time break free from it’s bonds but because it believed it couldn’t, it was stuck to that staked rope.

Like this elephant, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

The Lord knows that and consequently inspires us again and again through His life-giving Word to press forward and live out our lives in Him, as a light to this world!

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Philippians 1:6 (NLT) “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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