Undoubtedly my favorite verse from the scriptures this week in Parashat Vayetze, or at least the verse that spoke to me most in this week is the words Jacob said when he woke up from his sleep having seen the ladder from heaven.
Undoubtedly, The Lord is in this place---and I was unaware.
And today I have no doubt what this parsashat spoke to me.It was like God put ladders in my path this week to engage me ...and you!...
It said Yeshua is the ladder that connects us between earth and Heaven!! He is the step that reconnects us with God.
in the conversation about ladders, Jacob, Yeshua, and stopping to see that indeed He IS in this place!!
When I saw this ladder (photo above), I stopped.
There was even a rock next to the ladder, another element from the scene in the scripture, the rock where Jacob laid his head to rest.
Then Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He happened upon a certain place and spent the night there, for the sun had set. So he took one of the stones from the place and put it by his head and lay down in that place. ---Genesis 28:10, first line of Parashat Vayetze
Then I also noticed the gardener. The scene made me think of John 15, Yeshua as the Vine.
God is the gardener who prunes us and cuts off all the branches that don`t bear fruit.
This real life vision of the ladder and the gardener came to life even more as I sat in front of it.
When I took out my sketchpad and started to draw the ladder, a rainbow appeared...on my hand! I moved my hand and the rainbow moved onto to the page of my sketchbook, just above the ladder!!!
Whereas yesterday I saw an actual rainbow in the sky, drew it, and envisioned its connection to a ladder (see post below), today I saw an actual ladder and He drew in the rainbow, showing me its connection...to Him!!
Surely Adonai is in this place!!
One `lesson` that took hold of me this week is that engaging our hearts and minds and time in the study of Torah brings us closer to God in real ways. It was almost like a week of seeing answers to a question that the ladder raises which is:
What can we do to step up the rungs of the ladder, to come closer to Adonai in our days?
We can pray, read the scriptures and keep close to God in our hearts. We can bring the scriptures and our meditations with us as we go through our day, wherever we are. After all, God is the Creator of the Universe, so it is not a great step to take to say that He also creates the scenes that we walk or bicycle ride into in all of our days. And even steps into them.
James 4:8 says Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.When we align ourselves with His calendar of Shabbatot and Torah study, we are saying that we desire to know Him and to abide in Him (abide by His commands).
When talking about the ladder, I also believe one essential step on the ladder is to receive Yeshua into our lives as our Salvation. It took me 50 plus years to take this step, and it wasn`t even one I ever thought about until He took me by surprise from up above the ladder. Like Jacob, once I heard His voice, I woke up and opened my eyes to the living presence of the Almighty God!!
I believe it is like that when we first see him, hear Him, and have that realization that `He is in this place.` Of course, He is in every place. But we are `unaware` until there is a place and time where He calls and we are ready to respond. For Jacob it was on the way to Haran. Remember he was running away from the consequences of deceiving his father and brother. And yet when Adonai comes to Jacob, it is not to scold him, but rather to bless him with the covenant promises. For me it was after 17 years of living in Japan. I too had run away.
My deceit was in thinking I could run away from my Heavenly Father! He didn`t scold me either, but welcomed me back with such great Love and compassion that I had never before known. Such a ladder of Grace it is!!
For you, where was it? Or where might it be?!
Surely ADONAI is in this place, wherever we are!!
Waiting for us to reach out to take hold of the ladder,