At one point or another, life has pinned many of us between "a rock and a hard place." Yet, very few of us would be willing to (literally) amputate our arm in order to be set free. But, as depicted in the award-winning film 127 Hours, that’s exactly what Aron Ralston did.
At 27 years old, Ralston, a born-again believer, biked to a Utah canyon for an afternoon of rugged hiking. While on the escapade, a boulder shifted, Ralston fell to the canyon floor, and his right arm was pinned under an 800 pound boulder. During the next five days, Ralston had to make a decision: Would he die with his arm trapped, or would he amputate it in order to save his life? This grueling predicament — and Ralston’s subsequent decision to cut off his arm with a dull knife — presents a powerful spiritual reminder.
Jesus instructed in Matthew 5:30: "If your hand — even your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (New Living Translation). Jesus’ insight applies to every area of our lives. If our attitudes, habits, unforgiveness, insecurities, or anything else separates us from God’s perfect will, we must "cut it off and throw it away."
On May 4, 2007, at the Swiss Economic Forum, Aron Ralston stated that he "did not lose a hand" – he "gained life." Likewise, when we’re able to remove things that keep us bound, we’ll gain a far greater life.