Right now some of you are thinking, "How'd we get to #3?" See the Hoovitorloseit podcast for #1 & #2 of the Chutes & Ladders series and you'll be caught up in no time. We didn't get a chance to record the final installment of "Chutes & Ladders" so here it is in a nutshell.
Last week, we unpacked the idea that there are things in life that can start out as “ladders” but can quickly turn into a “chute” when we allow things to get off balance. We talked about Adam and Eve and how their lack of trust in God, how their belief that, "We probably know better than God" is what turned their “ladder” into a “chute".
Let's take a minute to look at the reverse of this idea which is how things that we assume are “chutes” could actually be “ladders”.
It isn’t too difficult to pretty quickly create a list of things in life that feel a lot like a “chute” right?
These are all things that can make us feel like we’re on a long downward slide. The Bible is full of these types of examples as well.
These are all things that can without a doubt make us feel like we’re taking the long slide. But here’s what I want to challenge us with. Let's try to figure out what the necessary ingredients are for turning a “chute” into a “ladder”. What has to be going on in our mind, our hearts and in our relationship with God in order for something awful to be turned into something great?
In Psalm 38:6-8 (NLT) David says, “I am bent over and racked with pain. All day long I walk around filled with grief. A raging fever burns within me, and my health is broken. I am exhausted and completely crushed. My groans come from an anguished heart.” In verse 10 (NIV) he says, “My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes.” In verses 13-14 (NIV) he says, “I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak; I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply.” David goes on to detail the number of enemies he has for reasons that he can’t explain, he details the people that are paying back his goodness with evil, nothing was getting better in David’s life.
In other words, here's guy who was at the bottom of chute and was headed towards another. You get this image that David, was just tumbling out of control. There was nothing good on the horizon.
But here's what I don't want you to miss as you look at David's life. Something changed, but what changed wasn't his outward circumstances. What changed for David, was his perspective.
Listen to what David says in verse 15 of chapter 38. In Psalm 38:15 (NIV) he says, “Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.”
I love David’s attitude change in this passage. He basically says, “Hey, I can’t control or change how things are out there, but I can control and change how things go on in here.”
David says, “God, I’m just going to wait.” I’m going to wait for you to…
Here’s the problem that we deal with today when it comes to experiencing tough times. We focus all of our energy on trying to change what’s happening rather than changing our perspective.
What if we began to see our “chutes” from God’s perspective? What if when we experienced tough times, we started to ask God what he was up to? What if we asked God to show us what we’re supposed to learning?
It’s like we’ve forgotten passages in the Bible like Romans 8:28 (NIV) that says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
It’s like we somehow think that when tough stuff happens in our lives that God is somehow caught off guard. Listen, God’s not unaware of your struggles. What He wants, is that in the midst of us tumbling backwards, He wants us to scream out...
Listen, the ultimate transformation of a chute into a ladder is your willingness in the midst of struggle to look to God for answers. The ultimate transformation, when nothing is making sense and you feel completely confused and alone, if in the midst of that, you look to God and draw close to Him, you have indeed transformed a chute into a ladder. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.