Ladders are not my friends. For the most part we get along, but it’s a mutual distrust. We used to be closer, but I was betrayed.
I was doing some paint touch-ups in our great room near the skylights. As we prepped our house to sell, our realtor recommended we clean them up and paint around them. It was an ordeal finding a ladder that could reach that high. My step ladder didn’t quite extend high enough, and I respected ladders enough not to stand on the top rung 15 feet in the air. So I improvised. I stacked cinder blocks 2 high as a platform for each ladder foot in order to raise the ladder up high enough.
I bet you think you know what happened next. Well, you’re only partly right.
Realizing I had pushed my luck with the blocks on 3 of 4 skylights, I looked at the 4th and thought it was close enough to the far wall that I could just use the extension ladder leaned against the wall rather than the step ladder propped on blocks. I told my 7-year-old son, “If I fall, call 9-1-1.”
Up I climbed with the paper towels.
I wiped the dust.
Then I felt it. The ladder was sliding down the wall.
Before I knew it, I had landed on the floor like a cat, right on my feet. The ladder rung I had been standing on fell on me crushing the tops of both feet, and I instantly knew something was broken.
I hobbled to the living room in agony, and my son got my phone so I could call my wife to come pick me up and take me to the ER.
The result of my ladder experience? A displaced break on my 5th metatarsal on my right foot with severe bruising and spraining of the other. I had surgery within a few days after the swelling had reduced, and I was in a cast for 6 weeks and a walking boot for a couple more.
That experience gave me a ton of perspective on how much I value mobility. You don’t realize how valuable your freedom to move around is until you don’t have it any more. I slept in pain, I showered in discomfort, and I spent my days longing to be able to do something as simple as walk around the mall or pee standing up.
I remember lying in bed one night feeling sorry for myself, and I swore I would do things differently when I was out of my plaster prison. I would exercise. I would play more. I would get out and run. I would get up to get the remote myself. I would enjoy having the ability to walk.
It’s now about a year later, and I have made changes. I started exercising. I lift, I run, I do elliptical. I eat high protein low-carb meals. I still rock the dad bod, but I’ve lost about 20 lbs. since that pity party I held, and I’ve never been healthier.
It’s amazing the perspective you can get from a life-changing event, huh?
Of all the life-changing events you could go through, nothing compares to becoming a Christ follower. When you invite Christ in, you’re saying, “Less of me, Lord, and more of you.” You’re giving Jesus the open door to come in and clean house or in some cases, take out walls, fix the plumbing, redo the electrical, lay some new flooring, slap on a new paint job, install the trim, rehang the doors…well, you get the idea.
But sadly, many of us stop short of the changed life that Jesus promises, merely asking Jesus to visit. It’s like inviting Jesus over and leaving him in the driveway. Or maybe we go a step further and invite him in, but we’ve locked certain rooms as off limits.
Christ hasn’t made a difference in our lives.
I was talking politics with some Christian friends once, and one commented, “I’m a Christian, but that doesn’t have any bearing on my political beliefs.” Friends, how can this be? How is it that politics have usurped the throne of our hearts that rightfully belongs to Jesus? It doesn’t even have to be politics. How can we say we’re Christian but then not submit what we think to him?
But Jesus doesn’t barge in. He doesn’t lower his shoulder and muscle his way into our locked rooms. To have a changed life, we must surrender the whole house.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says this:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
These verses provide a clear picture of the changed life, the life surrendered to God. Here are a couple pictures that become clearer when we grasp this truth.
Picture 1—All my heart, all my ways
Could this be any clearer? No matter the issue I should surrender it to God. I should acknowledge God in all my opinions, thoughts, behaviors and feelings. There is nothing off limits to God. When Jesus is on the throne of our hearts, he has access to every nook and cranny, every shadowy, cobwebbed corner. When there are places in our lives we don’t allow him, it begs the question, whose hand is actually on the wheel?
We go to church and sing pretty songs. We listen to sermons about how to become better people. We even read the Bible for ourselves. But we don’t need more songs, sermons and Bible reading if we’re not going to do anything with them. All those things point to what Jesus has already done on the cross and what the Holy Spirit wants to do in us right now.We don’t need more songs, sermons and Bible reading if we’re not going to do anything with them. Click To Tweet
Picture 2—Trust in God
I don’t have scientific evidence of this. I haven’t conducted studies or even done surveys. I haven’t even said this out loud for others to vet. I have a suspicion that most of our problems with Christian faith come down to how little we trust in the Lord. We like the stories, and we’re inspired by people who were bold, brave and audacious enough to risk it all for the Kingdom. We venerate heroes, but we tend to think they’re made of different stuff.
All those men and women who went before us were flawed, broken people just like us. They weren’t born with a faith gene or greater guts. The only thing that makes them different is their radical trust in God. Truly faithful people aren’t born; they’re shaped and molded then set in a kiln.Truly faithful people aren’t born; they’re shaped and molded then set in a kiln. Click To Tweet
Does Jesus have full access to you?
Is there anything you withhold from him?
Is there any topic off limits?
Take some time to do a soul check. What door is God knocking on asking to be let in? Is it your politics? Is it your dependence on food? Is it your addiction to others’ approval? Whatever it is, give it to God, and he will straighten your path and give you insight.
Where have you struggled to let God in? What have you done to make progress? Please comment below and share your thoughts.