We all build walls.
Someone hurts you and you quickly learn how to stop that from happening again by building a nice big wall between you and that person.
Only sometimes you go a little too far and you build it all around just in case someone else would come along to hurt you.
So you build this wall, brick by brick, to protect yourself from pain. But when you stop stacking because you can’t reach any higher, you realize that without any windows and bricks all around, you’ve built yourself a prison cell.
And since the bricks reach so high and are so thick, no one can see you or hear when you cry for help, when the dark shadow of loneliness fills your cell.
Only God can reach you in that dark and painful place.
But maybe you’re afraid to ask because the world is too cruel and you don’t know if your heart can handle another blow. So you stay there for a long time.
Finally, the walls close in too tightly and the darkness grows too thick, so you decide you must try again. You whisper a plea to God, but as He lifts you up to the top of your wall and sets you there, you totter. You look down at the safety of the prison cell, the darkness looming below, and then you look out at the contrasting sunlight and the people all around and the drop-off to get to them.
You freeze. You’re afraid either way will bring you unbearable pain; pain that will wound you so deeply you’ll never recover. And suddenly you don’t sense God’s hand anymore. You wonder why, in this worst predicament, would He leave you now. So you cry out to Him, begging Him to remember you.
You don’t hear His voice or see Him, but you notice your wall is different; a brick here and there has been removed to build a set of brick stairs leading from the top down and into the sunlight.
Who built the staircase? you wonder. God? Someone else?
You don’t know. Perhaps God did it Himself or maybe He led someone else to do it. Either way, the stairs are waiting.
Life is waiting. And God is waiting to help you escape your prison cell and the cold that climbs the wall and reaches out to you like an icy hand, reaching from that place with all the pain from your past.
All you need to do is take God’s hand and take it brick by brick down those stairs and into the sunlight.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV.)