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  1. Climbing Jacob's Ladder  by Barbara Collins
  2. Pressing On!   by Gay Anderson

by Barbara Collins

My husband knows how I want the epitaph on my tombstone to read:  “The last time I saw her, she was still climbing.”  At my graveside celebration, he knows to play a CD of Reveille, the morning call, which is the summons to rise!  Climbing where?  To the top of heaven like Jacob’s ladder where the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  Do you believe in the angels God send?  Is that too supernatural for you?  However, the subject of angels is for another time.   

Listen to Genesis 28:13-14 which says the Lord stands above it and speaks to Jacob:  “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give to you and your descendants” who shall be as the dust of the earth.  In your seed, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

In fact, God’s protection means my life is off limits to every one but Him.  I am protected by functional immortality.  Just as the Lord said in 28:15 He would keep me wherever I would go and never leave me.  

I needed Him, in particular, this past Christmas Eve, returning to the Dallas area where it had snowed during the day.  That evening, however, the snow had turned to treacherous “black” ice.  Our car, which my husband was driving, was caught by some of it.  Immediately, we were thrown into an uncontrollable spin (but controlled by the Holy Spirit) on the highway.  A grassy knoll and concrete abutment the Lord had put in our way saved us from oncoming traffic, and the grassy knoll gave us some slipping and sliding room. 

When we finally came to a stop, my husband was untouched.  However, the concrete abutment stopped the car on my side and heavily damaged it.  I was firmly seated and locked in by a seat belt which I am so glad the Holy Spirit had caused me to click it. On impact, the airbag did not deploy, praise the Lord!  I had the breath knocked out of me and ended up with some bruised ribs.  Some Christian men tapped on our windshield to inquire if we were alright.  One of them called our area’s emergency number only to learn that it would be some 2 hours because of a series of accidents along the highway.   

Climbing over the front seat to get out of the vehicle, I clutched my purse to take with me.  One of the men told me to put the purse down in the ditch since they needed to support me on both sides to transfer me to another auto that would take me on home.  That night the driver of the car taking us the remaining distance, some thirty miles, also had a tow truck which pulled our now-totaled car, which would no longer start, out of the ditch the next day.   

The other gentleman called Phil on his cell phone to tell him he had my purse which he returned to my home the day after Christmas.  These men, of course, were angels in disguise.  The other “angel in disguise” was the masseuse who came to our home several times.  On one of these visits she was on the couch next to me doing her usual probing.  Both of us recognized that a dislocated rib was put back in place.  

Jacob’s dream became a reality to me when the Lord told him, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go . . .” Later I learned the accident was seen in visions by two persons in two different parts of Nigeria who didn’t even know each other 

I was now ready to sing with enthusiasm and with new-found knowledge this song taken from 28:17 –

                                         “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place,                             

                                          I can feel His mighty power and His grace,

                                          I can feel the brush of angels’ wings,

                                          I see glory on each face,

                                          Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” 

     Instead of a stone pillow like Jacob (28:17), my automobile became my Bethel or house of God, which became a gate of heaven to me. 

Pressing On!

by Gay Anderson

Following the thoughts and testimony of Barbara’s article Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, the Lord reminded me of His cry through the prophet Hosea, for we read in chapter 6:1-3 (NLT):

1 "Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds.  
2 In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence.  
3 Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him.  
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring."

How vitally important for us, as Christians, to press on to know the Lord and to acknowledge Him in all our ways, including even accidents such as Barbara experienced.

Jacob’s dream, which Barbara pointed us to, reveals the burning desire within Jacob’s heart to know the Lord. Genesis 28:12 speaks of the angels ascending and descending this ladder set up on earth and reaching to heaven.  The writer of Hebrews tells us that angels are ministering spirits sent forth on behalf of those who are heirs of salvation. (Heb.1:14) How interesting the angels were first seen ascending, then descending, implying they are all around us as believers, waiting in response to the Father’s bidding.

The Apostle Paul declared, “Oh! That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.”

What comfort and assurance we are promised in knowing the Lord will respond to us as surely as the dawn or the coming of rains in early spring. He is trustworthy and dependable and our sure access into the very presence of God. 
I believe Jesus can be seen as the ladder bridging the gap between heaven and earth, for in His coming to earth, He presented himself as the reality of this ladder. Jacob saw in his dream the coming together of heaven and earth. Our Lord taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jacob was touched deeply through this dream, and later as he wrestled with the Lord, he was truly changed and reconciled with his brother Esau. Jacob began to bear the image of the heavenly man. The inscription on my husband’s and my tombstone is taken from I Cor.15:22 – “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The ultimate end of man is to bear the image of the Christ formed in us. Again, consider what the Apostle Paul wrote as he expressed his travail of soul until Christ was formed in the Galatians. Even so, may the Christ be formed in all of us who claim His name.

Let us press on, knowing that as we have borne the image of the man of dust, all those in Christ shall bear the image of the heavenly man that we may live in His presence! Jeremiah points to a day when all shall know Him, from the least to the greatest. To know Him is to be like Him. Amen! 

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