Who are you called to be a bridge to?
There is something just so intriguing about bridges. Look beyond the simplicity of a bridge, envision the people and vehicles that have made their way across these amazing structures. Imagine who they are, where they’ve come from and where they are going. Will they return again, if so when and how many times? Think about what it takes to actually build a bridge—forethought, planning, design, time, craftsmanship and patience.
As time passes most worthy bridges remain strong, consistent and steady. Some are grand and some are simple. Nonetheless, they survive the cold of winter, the beauty of spring, the heat of summer and the vibrancy of fall.
God uses people to bridge one another to Him. In order for us to be a bridge we have to lay our life down and in essence let people cross over or walk on us. When we think of ourselves as a bridge, the novelty can quickly wear off and reality set in.
When I explained patience to my grandson, he said “I don’t like that one, I don’t want to do that one.” You may be thinking the same thing right now about being a bridge!
First I want to say, a bridge is not a door mat. A bridge is far more useful than a door mat. Jesus came to earth to bridge the world to His Father, not to be a door mat. Likewise we are called to bridge others to Jesus.
You may not realize it but we act as bridges daily. If you are a parent, you bridge your children to a hundred different things a day! Same with being a spouse, a friend, relative or leader. Seeing a bridge in this light makes sense, and our tune can change to Yes I can do that— I can be a bridge. But what if God calls you to be a bridge as He did Jesus? Jesus literally laid His life down for you and I to cross from death to life. Not only that but He did it for people who disregard and mock His sacrifice.
There are people in our life that won’t survive without a bridge. Maybe they need a bridge to grace and mercy, salvation or friendship, maybe to rehab, purity or godliness. Some need a bridge to understanding, others have lost their way do to heart-ache or poor choices, nonetheless they need a bridge.
The hardest people (speaking from experience) to be a bridge to, are those that have hurt or betrayed you. Or those who could care less if you lay your life down for them. Frankly, there are some people who will not accept your sacrifice. This does not change the fact that they need a bridge, there are people who won’t be able to find their way, who will get caught in the undertow of life’s current, unable to catch their breath. Your life laid down in sweet surrender and submission to Christ, will cause the unstable to find firm footing. Bridging a path into a relationship with Him—making a way for them to cross over to the promises of God for their life.
At first, when God spoke to me about being a bridge I was excited. Later, in the pain of the turned up heat, when I realized I had to bridge the hardhearted and unwilling (my own husband), I knew I did not have what it would take. It meant dying to my presumed rights, surrendering, submitting and completely trusting God. It meant making Jesus enough for my heart, soul and life.
You see, although being a bridge is an amazing concept, it can’t be accomplished in our own strength. Trust, dependency and humility are essential. Trusting that as we humbly lay our life down God has our back—trusting Him to be enough—trusting Him to be our portion and strength.
Unsurprisingly, God did not only require me to just be a bridge, but in His gentle way, He also entreated me not to begrudge my position and be the best bridge I could be. Not some simple wooden footbridge, but sturdy, elegant, confident—parallel to the Golden Gate, where its structure is high and its supports anchored deep.
At every thought of bridging the ungrateful, I would picture myself with my arms crossed in a self-protective stance, not willing to stretch out and be vulnerable, for fear of being hurt further and used. As I stepped out in faith and began to surrender my fears, God showed me that while I was the bridge, He is the support under the bridge. This revelation made life as a bridge much more bearable.
Again, God would not require anything of us that He would not equip us for. He assured me that He has sustained me.
I love the definition of the word sustain:
Support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure. To bear a burden.
To support physically from below, to maintain.
Psalm 55:22 promises: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” God has our back and He is the only one who sustains us.
The Master Architect has created you in His image, perfect in design and craftsmanship, stately and handsomely beautiful. Be encouraged, as you bridge those God has called you to, be strong and unwavering, anchored deep in relationship with Jesus. Stand sturdy through time, seasons and weather for He sustains you!
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13