A ladder lowered in the wilderness

By Dave Henning / December 7, 2023

“God does not stand on a ladder and tell us to climb it and find him.  He lowers a ladder in the wilderness of our lives and finds us.  He does not offer to use us if we behave.  He pledges to use us, knowing all the while we will misbehave.  Grace is not a gift for those how avoid the shadows of Shechem.  Grace exists because none of us succeed in doing so.”- Max Lucado

In Chapter 12 (Do You Know This Grace?”), the final chapter of God Never Gives Up on You, Max Lucado reiterates that Jacob’s story is our story.  Because Jacob’s life speaks to all who flounder, fail, and flop.  As a result, Jacob’s life serves as an invitation to us to believe in God’s stunning, compelling, and convicting grace.  A grace we’d be fools to refuse.

However, from our human perspective, we feel certain that God, like a wise baseball manager, most surely needs to bench Jacob.  Because. Pastor Lucado observes, each review of Jacob’s story leaves us amazed.  Amazed at Jacob’s inability to shape up, clean up, and stand up for everything decent and normal.  Or, as Max puts it, Jacob “serpentined his way in and out of God’s will.”

Therefore, Max explains why God failed to dismiss Jacob.  to replace him with someone more polished and refined.  Max confesses:

“Yet, on the other hand, I’m so grateful that God didn’t.  I, too, am prone to pitch my tent in the shadow of Shechem.  I’ve wrestled with God, daring to think my might and muscles would impress him.  I can be smarmy, wormy, and less than straightforward.  I identify with Jacob.  I limp.”

In conclusion, Pastor Lucado sees grace as God’s greatest idea.  Because He treats us according to His heart, not ours.  Above all, God relentlessly attaches Himself to us with a love sin fails to sever.  Thus, we only need to trust — not impress — Him.  Amazing grace!

Today’s question: How does God lower a ladder into the wilderness of your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “”Greatly broken – great things”

About the author

Dave Henning

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