This morning, I was driving my red VW Beetle to work, thinking about the day ahead. In front of me was a red work van. My eye was drawn to it as I followed it for mile after mile.
Around one curve, I noticed the logo painted on the rear door and on the side. As we headed down a slight hill, the ladder strapped precariously to the top caught my attention.
Between glances at the traffic around me, I began to see holes drilled into part of the ladder, and as we came to a stop at a red light, I saw that the holes were in a step that jutted out from the side of the ladder.
I was looking at the holes from the bottom, so it took a second for them to swim into words that I soon realized were upside down and backwards. Once my still-sleepy mind had worked out the puzzle, the words clearly read
NOT FOR HUMANS
Obviously, the drilled holes spelled out a safety warning intended to tell the ladder user not to step there. The words — and the suddenness of their unexpected appearance — made me chuckle a bit.
But as we continued our trek through town, my mind returned to this morning’s Bible reading and began to make connections.
I’d been reading in Hebrews about the great cloud of witnesses and about how we should “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” That stuff that hinders and entangles referenced in Chapter 12:1 could be labeled “Not for Humans.”
There are a lot of things in our world that I don’t think God intended for us to use. Like that non-step step, they could be drilled with words of warning.
Fear. Not for humans.
Worry. Not for humans.
Self-reliance. Not for humans.
Carrying our own burdens. Not for humans.
A book I have been reading pointed out that Satan offers us the very opposite of what God intended for us.
God offers faith; Satan offers fear.
God offers victory; Satan leads us to defeat.
God offers us peace; Satan points out things for us to worry over.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
All that other stuff — worry, stress, anxiety — that is Not for Humans. We don’t need to step there.
Instead we can stand securely on the Foundation of Christ and in the warmth of His love.