God as Support (Five Minute Friday #FMF)

Photo © Giorgios Karamanis

I was once at a confirmation service where the former Bishop of Exeter, Michael Langrish, gave an excellent sermon, using a ladder as an illustration. My memory of it is a little dim now, so I’ll be forgetting the nuances of his point, but in any case the image of a ladder has remained in my mind.

Think of it like this: You’ve got one of those ladders which is a straight tall thing, not one of those triangular ladders, and you’ve pushed it against the wall. You want to climb high up the ladder – maybe to rescue a cat, or pick an apple, or paint a ceiling. The ladder is unsupported at the bottom. How do you feel climbing it?

For so many of us, this is our spiritual life. We pray and live as though we are on a shaky ladder, trying to clim higher and impress God at the top. But God’s not just at the top.

God is the support. If you just look behind you, down the ladder, there is God – holding you steady, being there to catch you. In Ed Cyzewski’s book Flee, Be Silent, Pray, he writes that all contemplative prayer flows from the one simple understanding: God loves you. Utterly, unconditionally.

Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit as being an advocate, a companion, a support for us through our Christian life. Sometimes we forget God is with us. Sometimes we forget God is for us. Sometimes the ladder feels decidedly wobbly.

Today, I’m choosing to remember that God is before me but also behind me, with me. That’s what I’m picturing today: I’m on the ladder, and it’s firm, and I can hear God’s voice of reassurance as I climb.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you.”

– Jesus, John 14:16-17

'I'm choosing to remember that God is before me but also behind me, with me' - God As Support Click To Tweet

Over to you: 

  • To what extent does this image of God ring true for you today?
  • When are the times when you feel like God is supporting you?

linking up with fiveminutefriday




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14 Responses to God as Support (Five Minute Friday #FMF)

  1. Rebecka 21st September, 2017 at 10:09 pm #

    This reminds me of an illustration by a Swedish pastor, Tomas Sjödin. He wrote once that he’d started thinking that God was like his old, worn kitchen floor. Not someone you need to try to reach, but someone you can lean on and rest against. Someone who is always there and carries you. I’ve always loved that image, even though I must confess I still try to climb and reach to get to God, I want to learn to lean.

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

      I love this thought. Thank you, lovely Becka.

  2. Linda Stoll 18th September, 2017 at 12:06 am #

    I found you somewhere this weekend, but can’t remember who brought our online paths together, Tanya. Your writing, your heart, your observations are beautiful. Please know I’ll be back …

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

      Oh, Linda – thanks so much for these affirming words! I’m really grateful

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser 16th September, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    Love this, Tanya. Seeing God as the support as well as the goal…maybe one could use a trinitarian metaphor here?

    God is at the top, the Holy Ghost is the support, and Jesus is the ladder?

    Maybe that’s a bit silly, but I had fun writing it.

    #1 at FMF this week.


    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

      Always fun building metaphors for the Trinity! Great to see you here, Andrew – thanks for stopping by

  4. JA Andrews 16th September, 2017 at 1:02 am #

    I love this idea!

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

      Thanks, Janice! <3

  5. Jeanne Takenaka 15th September, 2017 at 11:46 pm #

    Tanya, I love where you took this word! The word picture of the ladder is definitely how I lived part of my life. Choosing to trust God to both support the ladder so I can climb where He’s placed me and to follow where He leads me is a moment-by-moment decision, isn’t it? ThNks so much for the reminder that we don’t walk alone through this life…we have the best Support ever!

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

      Hi Jeanne Takenaka – I love your name! Thanks for reading my post and cheering me on.

  6. Joyce 15th September, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

    I love the visual of the ladder. He goes before us, and comes behind us too. Thanks for sharing today. I’m visiting from FMF.

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

      Hi Joyce, lovely to see you!

  7. Joanne Viola 15th September, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    Tammy, I love the points you have brought out here. I am so grateful our God is our support, our strength, our foundation. With Him we can scale any wall! Blessings!

    PS – I don;t know why but I think this is my first time here so may I say, “It was wonderful to be here!”

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Joanne!

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