I’m not a fan of ladders, seemingly having many of the symptoms of acrophobia (fear of heights). You’ll never catch me scampering up a ladder like a squirrel, or even navigating step by step like a cautious feline.
I personally think my fear of heights is an example of the Lord showing off His sense of humor since I’m nearly six feet tall, and love the mountains. Go figure! Nevertheless, my acrophobia is so acute the scriptural image of angels going step by step up and down a ladder, step by step, leading to heaven makes me break out in a cold sweat.
Jacob had a dream. He dreamed there was a ladder that was on the ground and reached up into heaven. He saw the angels of God going up and down the ladder. Genesis 28:12
What’s the description conjour up for you, Dear Reader? For me, it’s pity for the angels having no choice but to go up step by step and down the ladder at the Lord’s bidding. (Since originally writing this bit of shared reflection, I have learned angels do indeed have free will.)
And then my “biblical” brain kicks in. Perhaps the ladder is a reference to our journey with Jesus. Hmmm? Sometimes it’s a challenge, but I’m learning to match Jesus step-by-step, and keeping pace with him, is so much better.
Guess what, Dear Reader? The Lord doesn’t want us to be confused or distracted. He’s given us His Word to help, not hinder, us on the journey, whether it’s by leaps and bounds or step by step.
If you want to live, give up your foolishness and let understanding guide your steps. Proverbs 9:6 CEV
A couple of years ago Tom and I redecorated our living room. Painting the paneling above the fireplace included excrutiatingly slow maneuvering up and down the ladder, step by step, in order to work all the way up to our twenty feet plus ceiling. Yikes!
Tom bought a new step ladder just for the project, and I had a choice to make.
My vision for the redo was crystal clear. Tom was doing everything he could to make it happen, including ripping out a fourteen foot wall-to-wall mantel (but that’s another story). The only hiccup with working over the fireplace is that Tom is nearly as frightened of heights as I am.
Was I willing to “give up (my) foolishness” to fullfil my vision, or much more importantly offer help and support to Tom?
Dear Reader, have you ever started up a ladder only to be faced with uncertainty? Who hasn’t, right? We have a choice whether to continue or back away, but Dear, Dear Reader, there’s great news!
Just as God spoke to Joshua, and the Risen Christ spoke to His disciples, God’s Word continues to encourage and exhort us today.
Don't be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take. Joshua 1:9b MSG
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20b NIV
I was so thankful for the gift of discernment while redecorating our living room! And amazed, once again, that God will the ordinary things of earch to teach us lessons of heaven.