The Ladder

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Standing at the base of the ladder, I allowed my eyes to follow its ascent upward. Taller than the giant sequoias, the uppermost reach of the rungs extended out of my eyesight. The view was spectacular, yet I remained focused on my intent. 

I’d come by way of invitation, and as I waited, light filtered around me. Brilliant, warm, and without shadow, the light radiated as if no physical barrier could block its shining. Even the ladder glowed resplendent as luminescent orbs pulsed up and down each step like lightning bolts

Fascinated by the movement, I reached out to touch one of the gleaming firebolts and found I’d grabbed a rung instead. Instantly, I knew Him, this ladder to Whom I’d come. His image sharpened, and “I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire, and there was a radiance around Him” (Ezekiel 1:27).

He’d always been the Way, standing on earth in human form and reaching to the heavenlies in His Divinity. Every interchange between heaven and earth occurred upon this Holy Scaffold, for He knew all and could see all. The living orbs of fire were simply “His angels, mighty in strength,” “ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (Psalm 103:20; John 1:51).

Suddenly, I realized that I had no prayer to send upon this Word-made flesh — no request adequate of His glory. Although I knew that He “regards the prayer of the destitute and has not despised their prayer,” He is the One Who knows how to pray, not me (Psalm 102:17; Luke 11:1). Christ sits, even now, interceding at the right Hand of God for me (Hebrews 7:25). 

On previous trips to this ladder, I’d pinned my requests to an angel already on his ascent to God. But this arch was for both ascending and descending. Shouldn’t I sometimes allow Him to begin the dialogue?

Rather than sending messages to Him, why not await the delivery of His prayer into my heart? 

Norwegian theologian Ole Hallesby stated, “The more helpless you are, the better you are fitted to pray, and the more answers to prayer you will experience.” Indeed, awaiting God’s prayer initiation awakens my vulnerability. 

So, as I await His direction, I remember the wisdom of Ecclesiastes: “Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen…Do not be hasty in word or impulsive thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2). Yes, remind me of this often, Lord.