Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: God's Bridge
By Sarah Heywood
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Having four children, we have accumulated a variety of board games over the years. I do my best to avoid playing them with the boys most of the time. I just don’t have the time or patience to sit down and move a little plastic figure around colored squares for a half hour or more! But every so often I get guilted into playing with the boys. While they have a variety of games, I have noticed that several employ the use of “bridges”. When you land on a certain square you can pass over a number of other squares, which will hopefully, put you in the lead. I’m always anxious to land on these squares because it means the game might be finished all that much sooner!
There is one verse of Scripture that I have come to think of as God’s “bridge” for us. It’s often quoted, sometimes in a glib way. There have been a couple of occasions in my life where it seemed like I was being offered this verse quite a bit. The most recent time has been over the past few months. Nine months ago I had a baby - and a post partum stroke. I then entered one of the more difficult periods in my life. Physically, I was beyond exhausted. I was recovering from surgery, from childbirth, getting up multiple times a night to nurse, and feeling overwhelming fatigue at the same time. I was trying to home school my other three children - one who has special needs - and dealing with a body and a mind that no longer functioned as well as it used to. To say it was hard is an understatement!
But we had incredible support during this time, especially in the first few weeks. Meals were brought to us, the phone rang off the hook with concerned friends, and I couldn’t go to church without being asked repeatedly how I was feeling. I received a number of “thinking of you” cards and oftentimes the sender would pencil in the reference “I Corinthians 10:13.” I would nod and think to myself, “No temptation has overtaken you…*” and truly not think any more of it.
I thought that having a stroke would be like any other illness or injury I had ever had.
I assumed that I would recover and things would be back to normal before too long. But as the months passed I found that stroke recovery is different from other things. I would get to feeling better and then I would have what my doctor called a mini-stroke, which is stroke symptoms without new brain bleeding. I would be back to feeling crummy all over again - not as bad as in the beginning, but still pretty debilitating. These were so discouraging for me. All I wanted was to feel better! One day my pastor’s wife emailed me, inquiring about our latest visit with the neurologist. At the end of her email she said, “Well, just remember 1 Cor. 10:13!” A few days later, I looked at the verse and I began, for the first time, to really meditate on that Scripture.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” I have always understood that “temptation” in this text refers to “trial”. The more I thought about it, the more excited I got! When I played games with my boys and landed on a bridge I got to pass over a number of squares that I would normally have to play through. The bridge was an escape. And that’s the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13. God is promising to me that first of all, He understands what I’m going through. And secondly, He’s not going to allow anything into my life that He won’t provide a bridge for - a way of help, a way to endure.
I don’t know what the future will bring for me in dealing with my current health needs. But I rejoice to know that God has provided a way for me of getting through this time with His bridge in the promise found in 1 Corinthians.
* All Scripture quoted is from the New King James Version of the Bible
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