Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
TITLE: The Old Covered Bridge
By CJ Raney
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Growing up, she heard many stories about the bridge. Grandma would take Sara on many walks as a child. She would tell her all about the first time she saw Grandpa. He was skipping rocks across the river as she walked by one day and he smiled at her. From that day forward she would find any excuse to walk by the bridge to see if he was there. When they started courting, they would meet at the bridge. Eventually he proposed to her, on one knee, right there on the bridge. Sara would always feel peaceful and happy when she thought about those times. So the bridge became her retreat to be alone to sort through her problems. She used it often growing up.
Now, years later, she found herself still struggling with life and needing some time to think. She had brought her curious, 5-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, to spend the weekend with her grandparents. The two of them soon headed to the rickety, old bridge.
As they walked, Elizabeth skipped down the road in front of her, picking up smooth gravel stones. Watching her daughter, she began to daydream about her own childhood adventures. All the times she skipped down this same path picking up stones or counting daisies.
Suddenly, she heard Elizabeth shout, "Look, Mom, isn't it beautiful? Come with me!"
Sara saw Elizabeth running across the decaying bridge. She looked at the old bridge and couldn't believe her tiny daughter made it across without falling into the river below. Time hadn't been kind to the old structure, and it was barely standing. Sara didn't know how she was going to get Elizabeth back to safety. Overcome with fear, she began to pray for God to give her the strength to reach her tiny daughter.
Hesitantly placing one foot in front of the other, she slowly began to make her way to Elizabeth. Some of the wooden planks were splintered and there were gaping holes. Each step sent fear racing through her. A lifetime seemed to pass in a matter of moments.
Finally, her prayers were answered. She cried in relief as she wrapped her arms around her daughter. "Elizabeth, you scared me!"
"That old bridge is about to fall down . . . weren't you scared? Didn't you see those holes in the boards? Didn't you see the river below?"
"No, Mom, I wasn't looking down."
"How could you not see them?" Sara said in bewilderment, her heart still racing.
"I was looking at that," Elizabeth pointed a tiny finger upward. "Look, Mom, it's like the one my Sunday school teacher told me about."
Following Elizabeth's gaze, Sara saw an old wooden cross at the edge of the woods.
Gathering Elizabeth into her arms she whispered, "Thank you."
Nothing is impossible if we keep our eyes on the cross. Sometimes we become completely overwhelmed with life. We focus on the holes in the boards instead of looking to Christ and placing our faith in Him. We make a huge crater out of a small hole when we try to fix it on our own. When we cast all our burdens on Christ, those large craters become small holes again.
"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
I Peter 5:7 (KJV)
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