Bridge Over Troubled Water

Have you ever felt the as though the pressures of life were becoming more than you can bear? Have you wondered where God is when things get too heavy, and you just need a break? I know I have tried to keep control of situations until my body ached with the strain of constant stress. God in His goodness gave me a moment of clarity when I least expected it...when He caught me out of the blue with a picture of a bridge. In my quiet time with the Lord, he brought the image of a bridge in Victoria, British Columbia that I have seen when visiting with both of my daughters.   It came clearly and distinctly, unrelated to anything I was doing – which is always my sign to pay attention.

I was a little lost on the bridge connection, and while God has ALL the answers, Google can help bring those to earth. So I obediently went on a quest to find out more about this bridge that God was bringing to mind.  And the answer came pretty quickly.

See, moveable bridges (or drawbridges) are designed to accommodate ships that are taller than the clearance provided by the roadway.  The bridge opens and closes for passing ships, just as I daily give things to the Lord... and daily take them right back again.

But in my research, God has revealed I have options when it comes to how I handle the problems beyond my control.  There are different types of moveable bridges that deal with the need to accommodate large ships in different ways – and it is in these distinctions that God reveals his perfect plan for helping me manage things beyond what I can handle.

The particular bridge in my vision, I have now learned, is the Johnson Street Bridge. It is a bascule bridge.  A bascule bridge works by lowering a counter weight that is considerably heavier than the weight of the roadway, which causes the road to rise and allow barges and other tall water vessels through.  

Bascule bridges can be single or double leafed, depending on how the mechanism is built to cause the roadway to lift.

God and Google have revealed to me that I live my life as a double leafed bridge, like the London Bridge.  A double leafed bridge has counterweights on both sides, and the road is split in half, lifting in the middle. 

The problem with this, is that a bascule bridge requires the counterweight to be several times heavier than the weight of the road to cause it to lift the roadway into the air.   For the road to lift and the ship to pass, the counterweight is dropped, the lines creak and moan with tension and slowly the bridge opens, where it remains until the counterweight is released. I am a double leafed bascule bridge! This is how I give things to God- I give him some of the weight... but want to control and carry a part as well.

Oh the weight! The tension! Giving into the pressure, the taught wires being pulled backwards as the road is rendered useless until the counterweight is lifted, and the bridge creaks back into place.

 Is this coming together (no pun intended)?

Describing myself as a bridge is not something I have ever dived this deeply into, but at the heart this is the absolute truth about how I try to handle things that are too big for myself. Sure, I ask for God’s help, but I don’t fully give the burden of the solution to him.   I add pressure, I stress myself out, I carry extra baggage and hold tight, creaking at the pain, trembling under the counter pressure.  And sometimes I hold on this way this for years, because that’s how big that barge is in my life that seems to be parked under my trembling grasp.  I even feel the impact physically, my neck, head, arms and jaw ache some days because I carry that weight and tension.

But, there is hope! There is another kind of bascule bridge- the single leafed bridge.  The old Johnson Bridge in Victoria that God gave me in the vision is this type of bridge.  The single leafed bridge’s design is to lift the road entirely from one side.  The entire weight. 

This is what God wants to do for us. Psalms 55:22 tells us to “cast your burden on the Lord and he shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved”. 

In a single leafed bridge the other side doesn’t move. It remains at rest, still, while the mechanism that was designed to take on the full weight does the lifting.  That’s what our relationship with our Lord is designed to be.  When a huge tanker comes to disrupt our path, God wants to take the weight upon himself, while we remain in a place of rest and peace and stability, waiting faithfully for the road to be restored.

Sisters, I pray that we learn to be mindful of our reaction when we see tanker-sized issues in our lives that require action.  I pray that instead of just giving part of it to God and deciding to take or own action by weighing ourselves down, tightening our aching wires and allowing that weight to pull us down– that we give it all to God. 

 

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Jennifer Hill

 

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