Traveling an Uncertain Bridge

In my hometown there is a famous bridge called “Ghost Bridge.” It has since been closed to traffic and a historical marker has been constructed.
When it was open, it frightened me to cross it (no, not because I thought ghosts were going to attack me). The danger came from the structure itself. It was an old, rickety, narrow bridge with wooden planks to drive on. I would ease my car onto the planks and pray until I safely reached the other side. Thoughts of the bridge collapsing into the water below were almost unavoidable.
This is an apt metaphor for life. We are constantly undergoing changes in our lives. Minor changes such as hairstyles, wardrobe changes, weight loss/gain are normal. On the other hand, major changes can alter our entire lives, like an earthquake.
With each major change of life comes apprehension akin to traveling on an uncertain bridge. We wonder if we will survive the journey. Change can even have health repercussions and stress that can endanger relationships.
Change may be from health challenges. This change can be terrifying. A lack of mobility or constant pain can alter our lives in shocking ways. What we once took for granted now seems impossible. Anger and hopelessness stand outside the door demanding entry. If we allow them in to take over our hearts and minds, we will seek to lay blame. Too often, God is the one blamed, leading us away from His arms.
Retirement is a change that creates a void in our lives. We are often known by our employment and to lose it is to lose part of our identity. We can turn to self pity or new opportunities. We can aspire to new days or we can drown in the old ones.
Losing a loved one is a cataclysmic life change that brings an unalterable reality. We must endure the grief process and not come out the other side blaming God.
When we retire or lose a loved one, our options change. Our time may appear as a vast wasteland until we decide the direction of our lives. Will that direction be toward God or secular pursuits?
Divorce destroys the very fabric of our lives as anger, fear, betrayal and uncertainty lead us into the blackness of doubt. What we held dear, now has turned ugly. We may see nowhere to turn. We must not forget God, Scripture and friends as we maneuver the difficult paths ahead.
Every time we have life changes we need to foresee opportunities to bring glory to God. Are our new directions in line with God’s will? Will these changes be obstacles to our faith or vehicles for growth?
We must remember that we are not tied to this world. This is not all that we have (John 17:16). As members of the church we have a higher calling (Ephesians 4:1) to walk for God and to serve in His kingdom.
In Philippians 4:8-9, we find Paul directing us to good thoughts and practices as we become useful to the Lord’s work. In John 15:1-8, we find Jesus instructing us that we are sustained by the Lord and must therefore bear fruit in His fields. In doing so, we bring glory to Him and blessings to ourselves. Blessings that will be more than we can imagine (Psalm 23:5; Malachi 3:9-10).
If we are not Christians, we embark on these life changes alone and defenseless against Satan and his tricks (1 Peter 5:8). We do not have the peace, guidance and comfort that we gain from God (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:7; Psalm 23). Seek Him from whom all blessings flow.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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