There is a saying that goes something like this: “when you get to the top of the ladder, you may find it is propped against the wrong wall.” This quote usually refers to having misguided goals and achievements in life, but may I suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has given it a brand new meaning: we often base our security on the wrong thing.
Does our health ensure our safety? It can vanish in an instant. What about money? It doesn’t take much for it to disappear. Surely our jobs provide guaranteed support. We can lose them through no fault of our own. Our fame, position, or talents give us a firm footing. They don’t protect against the unknown. Whatever we propped our ladder against – thinking it is strong enough to hold us up – has turned out to be flimsy and feeble, unable to keep us from plunging to the ground.
Fortunately, there is one source of security that is unshakeable – God, our Creator. No, he hasn’t promised that we’ll go through life unscathed, because we live in a world tainted by sin. But he has given us more than enough evidence of his trustworthiness, and without hesitation, we can base our security on him. Here are a few reasons.
- God is the Creator and holds everything in his hands.
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col 1:16-17)
- God shelters us even when the world around us seems to be falling apart.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
- God is good and full of compassion.
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” (Psalm 145:8-9)
As we go through the storm, it’s sometimes hard to see these truths while the wind is blowing in our faces, and the water is splashing our eyes. I’ve found that I often detect God’s protection only after I’ve come through on the other end. But not discerning the Lord’s actions in the heat of the battle doesn’t mean that he wasn’t hard at work or that his presence wasn’t real.
God is not surprised by anything that happens. Nothing fazes him. His strong arms are powerful enough to help us through even the fiercest hurricane winds that blow against us. However, to benefit from his protection, we must trust him. Jesus told the story of two houses hit by the floodwaters. The first one came crashing down with a bang, while the second one stood firm. His message was clear: following him is what provides the firm foundation to weather every storm.
In other words, God is the sturdy wall on which to prop our ladder. May we never climb it only to find we are leaning against the wrong wall.
On what do you base your security? Where do you look for shelter?