Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's Like a Bridge

Imagine yourself on a bridge. You are on one side, and God is on the other. Imagine this bridge as your life.

As you travel through life on your bridge you realize something has gone terribly wrong…the center of the bridge is gone. There is an empty gap…you see the gap there on the bridge and you feel it in your heart. You long to be able to cross through the gap and reach God. You see others who have made it across their own bridge gap…somehow. You see them communing with God, full of joy. You see they have a hope inside of them that is certain of their inheritance of eternal life. They try to tell you how they made it across the gap in their bridge, however you don’t understand what they are saying. You feel choked and entangled with many things that bring even more confusion and fog onto your bridge. You aren’t sure what to do as the emptiness inside grows…an emptiness that you can only describe as some sort of uncertainty in your life. Sometimes the emptiness is loud and pronounced, and sometimes you hide it with other things…but you always feel it there. You look down over the edge of your broken bridge and see death awaiting you. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death

You look to the other side of the bridge where God is and see life being lived to its fullest. You decide that you will try to build your own bridge to God, one that suits you well. You try this many times, in many different ways, and with many different things. But each time, your bridge falls short. Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

Then one day you hear of a construction worker who fixes broken bridges like yours… decide to let him work on the gap in your bridge, even though you feel it might be beyond repair. When you meet this construction worker, you feel like hiding. You are worried that he will come across your messes from before when you tried to build your own bridges. You worry that he can see that the gap in your bridge relates to the emptiness you hold inside. But, something tells you that you can trust this man to build your bridge, so you let him begin his work. Days pass as the man works. Then, some time later you find out some dreadful news…the construction worker has died while repairing your bridge. You cannot believe it. How could this be? All of his work….for nothing. But then, something tells you to lift your eyes. You look up…and you see your bridge…complete…the gap is no longer there. Could it be? You look across your bridge and see something amazing….the construction worker…he is alive, and seated at the right hand of God. He motions to you and yells something but you can’t quite hear him. You take a few shaky steps, wondering if the bridge will hold. And then his voice becomes so clear. He says, “It is finished!” Yes, the bridge is finished you say to yourself. But you don’t understand. It seems as though this construction worker died just for you…just to complete the bridge. The worker yells again, “God designed it this way from the beginning. This was the only way. I had to die so that the bridge could be finished.” 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.

You are not sure that you understand, but you know it is true because you see it with your own eyes and you have begun to feel a peace inside of you where the emptiness once was. You look to the construction worker again and you see that he is motioning to you. He yells, “Come, follow me.” You are scared but you take a few more steps. You see that the bridge is sturdy, and you make your way towards God. You arrive at the other side of the bridge and you finally realize that this is where you were always meant to be. God looks much different up close…so different than how he looked from the other side of the bridge. Something in your heart has changed and you want to try and please God and you are excited to have a relationship with him. On this side of the bridge you are able to get a glimpse of heaven, and God tells you that since you let the construction worker repair your bridge, you can now be sure that you will be in heaven when you die; you will receive eternal life. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Your life continues and there are still hard days, and there are still challenges. But, you now face struggles with a peace inside. A peace that reminds you every day that you no longer have to look over the edge of a broken bridge and fear death. You become so thankful to that construction worker, who layed down his life, so that you could have a relationship with God. He whose name is Jesus, and offers this gift to us all. Hebrews 2: 14-16 Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

This is not a fictional story. It is a true story that is my own. And, it too can be yours, if you will accept Jesus’ wonderful gift, and his invitation to bridge the gap.

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