Thursday, August 23, 2007

God's Bridges

Today I received a package in the mail – delivered to my front door, even!—all the way from Australia.
My friend, Carolanne, declared me a winner in her photo contest and the prize was one of her photos (my choice) and a box of Tim Tams. I am saving the Tim Tams for special guests.
Before you credit me with unselfishness…I confess that that is not my motive!! – I, regretfully, can’t eat them because they contain Gluten.

The photo I choose is pictured above. (it is a scanned copy and does not quite do justice to the original)
I choose it because when I looked at it …I thought about its symbolic meaning.

Bridges….. There is something fascinating about a bridge.
Some were built years ago and show their age, others are designed for beauty and become photographers’ delight.
All of them are built for a purpose.

Every bridge allows passage over a difficult gap or barrier, providing a safe connection between two separated sides.
Bridges are often built over rivers because boats or barges are just impossible or too inconvenient.
Bridges may be built over canyons or freeways that present a difficulty in reaching one side from the other.

Then there are the metaphorical bridges.
Distance that separates people can be bridged by letters, e-mails, telephones or the internet.
Two hearts can be connected by the bridge of friendship.
The bridge of forgiveness can restore a relationship severed by offences.
Words can bridge the gap between teacher and student, between the one who weeps and the one who comforts, between the one who is discouraged and the one who edifies.
Differences in culture, beliefs, language, color are easily bridged by love.

But my musing took me farther….and I became fascinated by mind pictures of God’s bridges in our life.

Over every difficulty, every tragedy, every impossible situation, God can build a bridge.
We may face daunting ‘gaps and barriers’ that threaten to stop us cold in our tracks. But if we stop, look, and listen we will see that there is a way provided over the frightening chasm.

When Joseph was left for years unjustly imprisoned, forgotten in a foreign land, God gave Pharaoh a dream that was the bridge that took Joseph from prison to throne.

When Jonah struggled with resentment and anger, God built a bridge. A little shade bush took Jonah from anger to humility.

For Job, who served God out of self-righteousness, the tragic circumstances of his life became the bridge that Job crossed to find the joy of ‘knowing God experientially’. (Job 42:5, 6)

Sometimes God’s bridge is not recognized for what it is. The Shunnamite woman who secretly yearned to have a child did not know that her caring for the prophet Elisha would be the bridge God built to give her the child of her dreams.

Paul delighted in God’s bridges. He shouted, “What persecutions, afflictions presented themselves as looming fissures before me but over them ALL God built bridges for me to escape !!” (paraphrase mine- II Tim.3:11)

And of course the most architecturally perfect and utterly amazing is the bridge God built over the impossibly deep and wide divide of sin that separates every person from God.
He carried His own cross and built it over the canyon of eternal condemnation – providing a bridge of forgiveness, taking us from darkness to Light !

Perhaps you are facing a dark moment today, a difficult circumstance, or a frightening tragedy.
Let you heart be still….and look for the bridge God has already provided for you to find your way. Not only has He already built a bridge but He Himself will guide you across.

Jesus promises, “These things have I spoken, that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome (built bridges over) the world.” (John 16:33)


Lovella said...

I love the bridge about us . . .so good to be back to read your inspiring words again.

Laura said...

And sometimes those bridges are invisible, but solidly placed under our feet by God, a test of our faith and His proof of power and love. Sometimes I think he likes us to be able to look down, through the bridge, to see how much worse it would have been without Him. I just love how you think and write!

Demara said...

That verse that you ended this post with brings back memories of Bible College. There was an act that I was in, a monologue where I was experiencing spiritual warfare, so intense so maddening that the heaviness of it caused me to get down on my knees in total abandoned prayer...and then later on in another act I was to say this verse, like it meant something for me, about how "in this world we WILL have trouble" and that we are to "take heart," Because Jesus says, "I have overcome the world!!!" Well it never really hit home for me!

I mean...I vaguely understood it. What did Jesus mean when he said, "...take heart..." anyway? To remember? To soak Him up? To see? To be strong? To have hope? faith?

To cross a bridge you definitely must have faith, hey, especially if you don't see the bridge (*thinking* of Indiana Jones).

Maybe our "trouble" seems heavier when we forget that Jesus HAS ALREADY overcome it. Like we lose faith in believing that the trouble has been dealt with already, or that He's got our back or we lose sight of Him and our mission, take matters into our own hands and forget that we ARE NOT alone?!?!

But we are still to pick up our cross and follow him?!?! He has laid the bridge for our safe passage into His presence; cross, troubles and all!

When I read your posts I feel that they are like a bridge to me too...they bring me to my knees in total abandoned prayer. This prayer is like me crossing the bridge in Jesus' arms, resting in His presence once again. Aw the other side of the bridge? Is wear we give our cares to Him in prayer.

The final frontier
These are the voyages...

...of the seeking child of God!

Sara said...

Bridges...thank you for your illuminating words that make me think deeply about all sorts of bridges...

Vicki said...

I love the way you are so inspired and inspiring in your writing about the special things, as well as the everyday, ordinary things, in our lives. Be blessed!

Carolanne said...

This is about the 3rd or 4th time I've read this post. :)

Thanks for your sharing your thoughts on it. My friend Karen says too, she want to be a bridge builder. I like that analogy too.

ru4real said...

You know how sometimes you’re so moved by something that was said or written that you replay the conversation over and over in your mind or you read the words over and over again? I’m not sure why we do it – maybe it’s like trying to scrape the last drop of ice cream from the bowl because it tasted so good. Well, that’s how this post is to me. I’ve read it over and over, and I want you to know how sweetly the Lord has ministered to me through it. In fact, many of your writings have ministered to me, but this one is special because God is in the process of bridging a gap in my life, and I love the way you wrote words that perfectly express what He is doing. It really put a spotlight on His handiwork so that I can better understand what He is trying to accomplish. Thank you for following His lead as you mused over these things, and thank you for posting in spite of your physical pain. May God bless you for your obedience.