Borrowed Truths

Bridges of Hope

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Bridges of Hope

In the valleys are where they build the bridges, over the rivers, streams and creeks where the waters flow. Most of the time we can just drive right over them, at other times we must wait, for the water is too high and has covered the deck of the bridge, or an alternate route must be found. Sometimes though the bridge is washed out when the cascade of water becomes to much for it, the way is no longer passable, but what if you were on the bridge when the waters arrived, when the torrent cannot be avoided.

We traverse these bridges everyday of our lives and most generally we don’t even notice them, how long they are or how far it is down to the ground, they are the unnoticed events in our lives. The alarm clock sounds, and we rise to perform the morning ritual, the well-worn path that requires little thought, the performance of these types of tasks has been well rehearsed and little to no thought is necessary to perform them. Most of our days go like that, the repetitive, mundane obligations are fulfilled and then repeated tomorrow, rarely with incidents of any substantially different occurrences, but occasionally there is water over the bridge. Detours at these times must be found, the daily repetition must be accomplished, and time of course is always in the equation.

Sometimes we are forewarned of these events, weddings, funerals, a situation that will require our attention that we know is approaching at a specific date in the future, but at other times no preparation is available to us. A slip, trip or fall that causes a serious enough injury to not allow us to continue with the appointed daily tasks, a phone call in the middle of the night, the flu that has been going around has finally knocked on our door, and for a period of time life as we are used to living it is interrupted. There is very little that we can do at these times to alter the facts, we realize that these incidences are in a sense part of life, and they will as all things do also pass into the past, leaving us free to continue in our daily adventure that we call living. The water will go down, the bridge will once again be passable.

Sometimes though the bridge is destroyed, the approaching torrent was too much for it to bear and it has been washed downstream leaving a gaping chasm that cannot be crossed. The child has died and the parents are inconsolable, the house and all of its contents and memories are lost in the blazing inferno, the diagnosis is not good, and the doctors are not sure if the treatments will be of any value. Life has changed, the bridge is out, and we do not know when or if it will ever be repaired, the known path is gone, an alternate route will need to be found, there are no alternatives. It is a guarantee that the new route will take much longer and will need to be used for what seems like forever, the road is much more difficult to traverse, more potholes, stoplights and traffic are a guarantee. Frustration levels will rise, despair will be in the passenger seat for quite a while, and too long of a glance in the rearview mirror of what once was will bring hopelessness into your life. A part of your reason for existence is gone, and it is never coming back.

But you move forward, it is difficult, it is at times heartbreaking, and at times the pain can seem too much to bear, but you move forward. A new bridge will be built in time, the repetitiveness, although altered, will return, you will once again hear the birds singing in the morning and feel the warm sunshine on your face, and they will be appreciated as never before, they will no longer be just a passing thought. Life will hold new and fresh meaning, even in some of the mundane tasks that are required by it, unless you forget. The refreshing must be brought to mind, and often, the moments of joy and happiness remembered occasionally, the tasks at hand done with the knowledge of a life to be lived, not simply watched, but experienced.

But the day finally arrives when you are stuck in traffic, in the pouring rain, on the bridge, and the water is coming. The water is not rising slowly, but a torrential wave is coming, and there is no time to flee and run to safety, you will not leave the bridge, you will not be going home. All the tasks, all the daily, repetitive chores of life will be over soon, they will be accomplished by others, those not on the bridge, those who cannot see this wave of imminent doom approaching. There is no cure this time, the doctors have made that quite clear, the approaching vehicle that crossed over the line on the highway is not going to miss you, that pain in your chest will be the last pain you will ever feel, if you know Christ.

The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ who rest in Him alone for their salvation knows the mundane, repetitive daily tasks just as well as the lost do, but He feels them more keenly. They must be accomplished, but he could be serving Christ by serving others, the day is calling, and certain needs must be accomplished, so he gets busy with his mind on the eternal while his hands are busy with the temporal. He is praying for others and himself, he recites the memory verses he knows, his thoughts turn to the Scriptures and the joy that he receives from them as he crosses day after day the well-known bridge. There are moments of frustration of course when the bridge is flooded and an alternate route must be found, but he seeks for opportunities to serve his Lord in these new paths, and the extended time that it takes allows him more time to be alone with his Savior. When the bridge goes out, when it washes away, moments of doubt will assail him, his faith is being tested, and his belief may falter, but only for a moment. His trust is in the Lord his God, not in the circumstances that surround him, he knows that the bridge will be rebuilt, and he leaves it in the Sovereign hands of his Creator when that will happen. When he is on the bridge and the waves of death are approaching, he knows no fear, he rejoices, for soon he will be in the presence of the One that he has served and trusted in for so long, there is no despair, there is only joy. The only sorrow he feels is for those who must wait for their turn on the bridge, and his hope is that they too will have a smile on their face when that day appears. “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalms 31:24

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