Today was interesting. I usually do not write in the first person perspective, but I would like to share with you. A thought crossed my mind today. I was on a ladder. You know, one of those straight, put em on the wall ‘cus they aren’t shaped like an “A” type ladders. It was leaned against a wall, sitting about 15 feet up or so. I was near the top, cutting a piece of rusty old pipe with a reciprocating saw.
So I’m up there, leaned over my work space (the rusty old pipe) and leaning hard into my work. The saw would catch every once in a while and my whole body would shake, the ladder would shake, the pipes would jangle and wretch and whine and I would remember, hey, be careful, you are pretty high up and you don’t want to fall to a slow and painful crawl to the car, drive to the hospital, followed by months of rehab. Thankfully, this thought crossed my mind the third or fourth time the saw caught and shook my little world all up. I stopped, and thinking safely, I reasoned through what was going to happen when I finally got through the piece of pipe.
You see, the ladder represents the spiritual practices, relationships and food The Lord gives us that the world hates. Conversely, those rusty old pipes, namely the one I was cutting down, is like the world that we tend to lean on, knowing if we are going to lead a somewhat comfortable life we unfortunately sometimes need to lean into what we know will pass away: The world and it’s practices, relationships and so on.
I reasoned, and I thought, and I recognized finally that, hey buddy, you’re going to need to quit leaning on this rusty old pipe and put most all of your weight and trust on this ladder. You see, I am pretty glad I put some of my weight on the ladder. You know why? Because once I got through that pipe, all 25 feet of it or so crashed down and if I had been leaning on it I would have fallen right along with it. I was safely standing on the ladder, watching that old hunk of metal while it found it’s way to the ground.
You know what all this is a lot like? It is a lot like the spies who went into the land promised to them in The Book of Numbers. You see, the maelstrom of thought that day was “That land is awesome and has more than enough to sustain us.” When Moses and the other faithful folk began “readying the troops” those same fellas who were just parading around the riches of the land were all “Whoa guys, that’s a little crazy. We forgot to tell you that the people living there now are giants. literally GIANT HUMANS. We don’t stand a chance.”
You see the idea of wandering around in the wilderness and complaining that God was not giving them enough was their rusty old pipe. The promised land was their ladder. I’m gonna spoil it and just come right out and say something here. I am so incredibly thankful that I had this experience today because I know that I am one small piece to a greater community of courageous men and woman who also learned the same lesson in their own ways.
Here is the key though. The Israelites were living in a day to day “natural miracle” state. Elohim wanted them to trust in a “hidden miracle” or “open miracle” (either or, it’s arguable). The faithful men and women recognized that each and every day God performed the same ol’ miracles to keep them alive. The other folks just saw it as nature. The faithful folks saw that God would perform a different type of miracle in order to get them from wandering in the wilderness to promised land. The other fellas saw the promised land as unreachable.
God speaks to us all wherever we are. If we let Him talk to us while we are 15 feet in the air being jarred around by metal and crap during our daily work, we might be more likely to find ourselves thankful when we end up in the wilderness for a season.