The Ladder

The Ladder from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

For many years, I was a painter, and if it has anything to do with painting, I have probably done it. I've painted houses, hospitals, hotels, schools, factories, cars, and crow-footed plaster walls in 200-year-old mansions.

For a year, I walked on stilts and cut in ceilings day after day while we remodeled oceanfront high-rises. I grew used to being nine feet tall and felt like I walked so slowly when I took my stilts off at the end of the day.

Ladders were a big part of my life. You didn't see man-lifts here then. Those were luxury items only the rich could afford, and they weren't painters. No, we used good ol' sixty-foot tall, triple-section extension ladders that weighed as much as I did to get to the high stuff.

When you are sixty feet up on a ladder trimming a fascia board, you can look down and see a long slow bend in the aluminum frame. As you follow the lines down, there is a tiny spec at the bottom five stories beneath you. That little spec is the person holding the foot of your ladder. They keep it from kicking out from under you while you lean out as far as you can. When a sudden gust of wind comes, they are your best friend.

(Deuteronomy 33:26–27 NKJV)  "There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms;

The Lord holds the foot of our ladder. It doesn't mean that our part won't be scary or that the wind won't blow, but that ladder is going nowhere, for it is standing firmly on the Rock. God is at the bottom, and even if we were to fall, He would catch us.

You can do whatever He brings you to, but you will have to learn to trust Him. You don't need great faith, just a little and time for it to grow. It is like a tiny acorn that matures into a giant oak tree. Though it can never move out of its spot, God provides everything that it needs. It is that way with all of nature, and so it is with us. Jesus told us this:

(Matthew 6:25–30 NKJV)  "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

Why do we fear? God is holding the bottom of our ladder. One thing we must overcome is the fear inside of us. We hold ourselves back by never even trying. How do you climb the ladder He puts before you? One rung at a time.

Don't despise small beginnings. The lion starts life as a cub. Over time, the small and weak become the great and powerful. Jesus spent His first night as a child on Earth laying in a feeding trough in a stable. Are we better than Him? There is nothing wrong with a humble start.

If you wait for everything you would ever need to come to you before you begin, then you will never start. Work with the Lord day by day and involve Him in whatever you are doing. Climb the ladder one rung at a time. You will find that the new rung holds you just as solidly as the last one did. This is what the Apostle Paul learned:

(Philippians 4:11–13 NKJV)  Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Yes, you can if you don't let fear hold you back from ever trying. Only believe. The Lord is at the bottom, and He will catch you if you fall.

(Isaiah 41:10 NKJV) Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

We are not shaken by every wind that comes along. We don't fall apart when the least bit of resistance appears. We continue on with the work trusting the Lord to hold the ladder.

(2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Why do we fear?

You can pray this with me if you like:

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me overcome my fears and learn to trust You more. Give me a clear vision of what You have for me, and let me know how I can be part of what You are doing today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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