I’m sure you have heard the illustration of “climbing” the ladder of success . . . and then the subsequent thought that the ladder might be leaning against the wrong wall.
During these challenging economic times, many have not only found that their ladder was leaning against the wrong wall . . . but in fact the wall is crumbling.
Several years ago, we purchased an extra car . . . a fun car. It’s the kind of car we would drive on a Sunday afternoon, with the sun shining and the top down . . . on a long road . . . with curves or not . . . it didn’t matter. Recently, I came to realization that it was time to sell the car. It really wasn’t that I wanted to sell the car . . . I needed to sell it.
For some, it may be the need to sell assets or valuables, to cut expenses, to cancel vacations, or to eliminate the “pleasures” in lieu of the necessities.
If you are in business for yourself or an entrepreneur, it is probably extremely challenging and difficult. Banks are not open to new ideas, lines of credit are drying up, personnel budgets need to be reduced and even the best clients have slowed down their orders for your products or services.
Service and support business are slow. Real estate has lost value. Prices are going up. Equity, retirement accounts and financial portfolios have been drastically reduced.
Is your ladder against a crumbling wall? We’re there.
I bet your prayer life has gotten stronger and faith is ever challenged. Lottery tickets probably even look good.
So, how do you hang on? How do you do life? How do you survive?
Here are some thoughts . . .
God is good . . . and He’s a good Father. God is One who corrects and encourages . . . too many of the people in our lives condemn and excuse. In James 1, we recall that every good and perfect gift comes from God, above . . . and with Him, there is no “shadow of turning” . . . what you see is what you get. He is God and He is good. Jesus reminds us in Luke 11 that prayer is an essential part of our intimacy and dependence with our Heavenly Father. We are encouraged to ask (keep on asking), seek (keep on seeking), and to knock (and to keep on knocking). Jesus then makes the comparison that if earthly fathers, who fall short because of human nature, know how to give good gifts to children, won’t our Heavenly Father do the same and more. In these times of loss, stay close to Him. God has promised to be our Refuge, our Help, our Hope, our Rock, our Caretaker . . . trust in His goodness and trust Him as a Good Father. Who’s your daddy?
Naked in and naked out. In the middle of Job’s suffering with loss of loved ones, loss of wealth, loss of health, and loss of social standing . . . he cried out (Job 1:21), “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return.” Paul wrote to Timothy and provided the same thought, “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. “ (I Tim 6:7) The old adage is that “you can’t take it with you”. Have you ever asked why we work so hard to acquire, but also to hang on to it? Most of us have more than we need to adequately take care of our family. The rest of the stuff that we can’t take with us to eternity, in fact, it will all probably burn. So, what are you packing for eternity?
Remember where your true treasures are held. Jesus makes a probing statement regarding what really is important to us. In Matt 6:21, He says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Job says, “Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure. (Job 20:20) Don’t hold on to possessions that can provide you with some relief . . . sell the “man toys”, get rid of the extra “hobbies”. I know it hurts . . . but it helps, more.
(Is Your Wall Crumbling? Part 2 will post on October 7, 2009)