We rely on lots of things without a second thought. Bridges, elevators and chairs are all good examples. Let me tell you about the time a three-mile bridge I frequently drive across broke in the middle during rush hour. There’s a lesson to be learned, and you don’t want to miss it.
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About a year ago, the major bridge crossing the river near where I live broke during the morning rush hour. Something called a “finger joint” snapped and that section of the roadway dropped a number of inches. All traffic across the bridge was immediately shut down until emergency repairs could be made. When the bridge is broken, you’ve got some choices. No one suggested, “Let’s just keep an eye on it and see how long the bridge holds out. It will probably be ok.” Probably video of cars careening off the edge of a collapsed bridge highlighting their local news is bad for tourism. And I’m not aware of anyone sneaking around the closure signs and traffic cones to give it their best shot. For the record, trying to cross a chasm in two jumps is a lousy strategy. The bridge being out frustrated a lot of people. Funny thing though, no one got angry at being told that the bridge was out. In fact, NOT being told would have been a lot worse.
Enter God, and our verse for today: THE LORD IS GOOD. A STRONGHOLD IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE AND HE KNOWS THOSE WHO TAKE REFUGE IN HIM.
God is good, and He’s willing to tell you about life-threatening problems up ahead. Sometimes the bridge is out on the road you’re driving. If you keep going, there’s going to be pain, destruction and death. God knows. And He’s outlined things in His word pretty clearly about certain “roads to avoid.” If you’re on one of those roads you’ve only got two choices.
Choice number one, you can keep going. You can; really! You can ignore the signs that say, “Bridge Out Ahead” and drive merrily along your way. You can even look at the road where you are right now and decide that it looks fine. But that won’t fix the bridge. And the bridge IS out.
Choice number two is to turn around. Follow the instructions, take the detour. You might feel frustrated and inconvenienced, but at least you’ll arrive alive. In other words, you can find a safe route to a safe place. Because He is A STRONGHOLD IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE, God is always a safe place. Like the mountain castle in today’s image, he provides us with a haven. Rest, provision, healing — all found in Him. And the best part? You’re invited in, and the door is open.
God knows you by name, and He’s sent you a personalized invitation.
You know, there are times when we think we’re completely safe even when we’re not. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, one of Hawaii’s largest newspapers, ran a column on September 6, 1941 that said, “A Japanese attack on Hawaii is regarded as the most unlikely thing in the world, with one chance in a million of being successful. Besides having more powerful defenses than any other post under the American Flag, it is protected by distance.” In fact, a raid from Japan was considered so improbable that it was a long-standing joke. If one spotted a funny little boat on the horizon, people would laugh and say, “Here come the Japanese” in much the same way as you’d tell a youngster, “Look out for the bogeyman!!” But no one was laughing on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese pulled off “the most unlikely thing in the world.”
When life sends you scrambling and looking for safety, as it sooner or later will, remember that THE LORD IS GOOD. When you’re searching for your safe place, don’t forget that God is A STRONGHOLD IN THE DAY OF TROUBLE. He has prepared a place for you, and He wants you to come and take it, a place where you’ll be safe. It’s not just an empty room available to the next guest, it’s a place with your name on it, because HE KNOWS THOSE WHO TAKE REFUGE IN HIM.
Will the road you’re on take you to where you really want to be?
Or is your bridge out?