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Jacob's Ladder

by David Neuen

Last Sunday we spent some time climbing the ladder with Jacob as he dreamt of a deeper connection with God. During a long journey, moving through a time of uncertainty and fear in his life, Jacob received his spiritual encounter. He saw God’s angels moving up and down a staircase to God. The angels movement, a clear sign of their intention to draw us nearer to God, provide God’s strength and care, and to remind of God’s ever-present, watchful faithfulness.

Honestly, I’m not fond of ladders. I remember a mission work trip I attended years ago that involved roofing a home. I was far less afraid of being on the roof than I was making the climb up the ladder each day. I was never confident that the ladder had sturdy footing. I would feel that little wobble and grip the ladder with fierce intensity, driving my fingers into the metal. Of course, if the ladder collapsed, I would have fallen right with it. But at least I had a firm handle. Each time I climb a ladder, my fear escalates. As I get higher and higher I question, “Do I really want to put my foot on the next rung?

These are the same feelings I notice as I follow a dream. Upon hearing an invitation from God, I wonder if I will fall. I ask myself, “What can I hold onto if this opportunity begins to wobble?” The more I must risk, the less support I feel, the more I want to go back to safer ground. Are you ever afraid of making the climb into the dream God has placed before you?

Thank the Lord for his Word and the image of Jacob’s ladder that reminds us that angels continue to move up and down into our life as God’s Spirit sustains us. A higher calling is part of our walk in faith. God is beaconing us upward and outward for the sake of Christ. But, rest assured through all the risks and falls God is still ever-present, non-forsaking, overseeing all. And through grace we rejoice in the personal ladder with access to God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. As our praises and prayers go up, God’s love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, provision, and blessings come down! We are held safe and secure in the climb.

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