Have you ever noticed that humans just plain old like bridges? You can do so many things on them: play Pooh Sticks, walk over them, drive over them, look upriver, look downriver, cross from one side of a river to the other…we like bridges.
Christians also like bridges. As a university student I was told in no uncertain terms that the person and work of Jesus is a bridge that takes sinful man over the chasm of hell to the perfect and holy God. Lovely. So how many times does the word ‘bridge’ appear in the Bible?
But there’s plenty of water.
So what does the Bible do when it comes to water if there are no bridges? Well, God sometimes parts the water to help his people out of a tough situation. Sometimes he walks on water while his people are in a tough situation. Sometimes he’s asleep in the boat while his people are in a tough situation.
In fact, it seems that the concept of creating a bridge to help yourself out of a tough situation is entirely alien to the Bible. Instead, God seems to say one of two things: (1) I will give you a miracle and release you from this tough situation, or (2) I will be right there with you, but you’re going to have to ride out this tough situation.
This really addresses the ‘problem’ of suffering! At times, God miraculously intervenes to break people out of suffering, and how much do we love to hear about that?! But at other times, God says: Don’t be afraid. I’m right here, and I’m going nowhere. Ride out your storm, and I’ll still be with you when it’s over.
Thinking about it now, that’s quite comforting.