Do you remember the game “Chutes and Ladders” from when you were a kid? It came with a board, some game pieces, and dice.
When I was a kid, I loved playing “Chutes and Ladders.” I remember rolling the dice, hoping to land on the long ladder that reaches all the way to the top, so I could win the game. Of course, that hardly ever happened unless I cheated. Sometimes I would land on shorter ladders, and other times I would land on the chutes, where I would slide down a few rows and end up where I started.
It’s funny. I think to a lot of us, life at times seems like a game of “chutes and ladders.” For years you plug away, hoping to catch a big break or promotion. The way things are going right now, some of you would be happy to simply keep your current job. Sometimes you feel like you’ve stepped on a ladder and you’re moving forward, and other times it feels like you’re sliding down a notch.
Some of you may even feel like you’ve rolled your dice, you’re started sliding, and there is no end in sight.
Wherever you think you are in this game, I know something about this: The Grace of Jesus isn’t like Chutes & Ladders at all. We don’t roll the dice of life up and down the game board. We are not gaining and losing God’s love on our own merits. And we certainly can’t cheat our way to the top!
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16,17 ESV)
As God’s children we may yet suffer hardship in this life, but will certainly inherit the blessing and riches of His love eternally. God didn’t guarantee we’d never hit some chutes on the way down, but He isn’t expecting us to climb ladders. He’s going to raise us up Himself one day. That’s better than chance. That’s grace.