THE STORY OF THE BRIDGE
Written by Warren Sager
This is the story of a man called Joe who could be like any one of us. Joe was on a business trip and got word that his wife was going into labor with their first child. He hurried home. Since he was driving, he checked the map and decided to take what looked like a shorter route through back roads, hoping to get home faster. But there were problems because it was starting to get dark and also starting to rain. As Joe headed down this country road it began to look familiar. He recognized buildings and even the woods…and realized…this was the road that he used to travel on with his dad years before. He remembered that there was a big canyon up ahead with a small river way at the bottom of it. When he was a kid, he remembered how it always scared him to drive across that bridge. Meanwhile, the rain poured harder and harder. Then Joe saw a landmark that made him stop. It was an old run down shack. This was where his dad would always say, “we will get home a good 30 minutes quicker going this way.” So, Joe turned onto an old road, even though it looked quite worn. He hoped it would save time.
Joe had his brights on by this time but the heavy rain was still making it very hard to see. He suddenly hit something on the road with his right tire and it caused him to swerve and almost go off the road. It was an old sign that had fallen over and something that he needed to stop and read. But he kept pushing ahead when suddenly, he had the feeling that he should just stop. He put on the brakes and the car skidded to a stop, then he felt the car move…and rock. What was going on? Why did this feel so strange? He opened his door and started to step out of the car when his foot didn’t touch anything and he kept going. He hung on to the door as the car began to rock again. He realized that the old bridge was out and he was now hanging on the edge of a cliff! He could then see from his car’s headlights that there was definitely no bridge there anymore. Joe didn’t have time to think. His weight pulling on the door was pulling the car over the edge. He knew he was about to die and needed to jump. The car started to move and Joe just went for it! He lept toward what looked like a piece of the old bridge. He was able to grab something, and held on for dear life. Meanwhile, his car tumbled down the canyon walls and he heard it crash into the water below. How was he going to get back up on the road? How long could he hang on to this thing? It was dark and stormy and no one was anywhere to be seen! No one knew he was even there! This was a hopeless situation. Joe thought about his wife and his new baby that he may never get to see. And how his poor child would never know his dad. Joe decided that this was the end and he thought about his life and wondered about if he would even go to heaven. Then he saw lights and heard engine sounds. A voice called out, “hello! anybody there? Are you okay?” “I’m here!” Joe shouted. Soon there was an arm reaching down and Joe was pulled to safety. “I saw you go by my place and when you didn’t come back, I feared that the sign was down and you wouldn’t know the bridge was out. The bridge has been gone for a few years now, but I live out here, so the road isn’t closed completely. Can I take you somewhere?” “My wife is having a baby tonight, Joe said.” “Get in the car, I’ll drive you,” said the stranger. As they drove back to the main road, the stranger began to talk to Joe about the new bridge that they built a few years ago on the main road. He said that it reminded him of how Jesus Christ is like the bridge for us. Man has been trying to get to God but could not because there was a huge chasm that separated them. But God had a plan. When Jesus came to earth and died on the cross, he built a bridge across that chasm so that we could get to God. Without that bridge to cross, then our lives are just like Joe… leaving the main road that we should stay on, ignoring the map that tells us the way to go, and going our own way, not stopping and not seeing the danger signs along the way… then we would just fall right into the canyon and never reach the other side. It would be sure death. Joe was given a second chance that night. The Bible says that God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. He made the way that would bridge the gap between God and man. The way that we get on the bridge and cross it, is by faith, and believing in the cross of Calvary. The Bible says that as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. That salvation from God is a gift to us. We must receive the gift and open it. Joe had been ignoring the truth, so his life was full of sin and selfishness. He didn’t follow the map, which represents God’s word, our instructions and our authority. That authority tells us that we need to repent and believe the gospel. Those were the very words of Jesus. That night, as the stranger drove across the new bridge, Joe began to pray to God. He thanked Him for saving his life and confessed to Him that he was a sinner and also needed him to save his soul. He promised to turn from his selfish ways. He thanked Him for Christ dying on the cross and taking His sins away, and asked Him to come into his life that very moment. Joe was excited about getting home in time to see a new life come into the world, but there, that night on that bridge, Joe himself found new life in Christ.
Copyright 2010 Warren Sager