Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Cut the Rope!

(This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s message: Win the Day…Cut the Rope – LISTEN HERE)

Until the mid-1800s people were afraid to personally ride in lifts, or elevators.  For the most part buildings were five stories or under because that was the threshold people were willing to walk steps.  Lifts were secured by a rope or cable and were used to raise and lower goods from one floor to another.  The danger of people riding in lifts was if the rope broke, the lift would plummet to the ground causing severe injury or even death.

In 1852 Elisha Otis came up with an ingenious design that would keep the lift from falling to the ground should the rope break.  The trouble?  People were not buying his version of lift because they were skeptical it would work.

Until 1853.

In 1853, the World’s Fair came to New York City.  Elisha Otis built a three-story tall model of his lift and safety break.  To the delight, but skepticism, of the crowd, he stood on the lift and had himself lifted three stories off the floor.  When the lift was at its highest point, he yelled to an assistant on the platform above the lift, “Cut the rope!”

The crowd gasped, but the safety mechanism sprung into action and with just a short fall, the mechanism caught and Elisha avoided a quick plummet down three stories.

Sales were no longer a problem and the Otis Elevator Company was formed.  Estimates are today that every three days the equivalent of the world’s population rides an elevator…without thinking twice about the elevator plummeting to the ground floor.


Because Otis was willing to cut the rope!

To be sure, to many in Otis’ day, cutting the rope to a lift with a person on it would be a foolish idea.  The rope is what most would say gave security to the lift.  However, Otis saw a way to secure the lift that others didn’t.  As a result, he could cut the rope and rely on something or someone different.

As people saw the demonstration, their confidence a) in using an elevator increased and b) as a result the skyline of New York and other cities changed.

Still today, when I think about it, what makes me feel safe in an elevator is not the cable that moves the elevator, but the safety mechanisms in place should the cable break.

As we go through life, the natural things to rely on are the “ropes” we are used to.  The ropes are the things we can touch, experience, and have proven we can depend on.  Confidence in human attributes, intellect or creations has a limit to the trust factor.  

This week as we desire to win each day for the Lord will be the encouragement to cut the rope and to rely on what we cannot see.

This is the essence of faith as the writer to the Hebrews wrote:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I have never seen a safety break in an elevator, yet I trust it is there.  I wish I could honestly say I have the same, consistent trust in the Lord, his power and promises.  It is too easy to rely on what we can see and limit God to what we think is possible.

The rope we are used to is hard to cut.  Much greater than Otis’ invention is the confidence we can have to walk today by faith.

Apply: What challenges you to walk by faith?

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times I have limited life to what I can see and experience.  Help me to walk by your Spirit in the confidence and certainty of faith.  AMEN.

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