“…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age…” Mt. 28:20
How excited and eager I was one day to determine I would go on yet another one of my long and rigorous walks in New York City loving, worshiping, singing to, praying to, seeking, and listening to the Lord as I walked, and stopping to share the Gospel and minister to people along the way if and as He so led me which He so often does, on this particular walk doing something I don’t recall ever having done in my life – walking high up in the air across a very large bridge over a very big river taking me from Manhattan to Brooklyn. I was thrilled to go on my big adventure, and the hot sunny weather was an added bonus. I got off to a great start and was elated to make the distance to the staircase I needed to walk up to get onto the bridge and over it. Within minutes, high, high, high above the ground, realizing how long the bridge was, and that it rattled and shook as I walked over it, I was utterly petrified. The bridge was over a mile long, and higher up than imaginable! I knew the Lord would get me to the other side, to my destination, if I persevered, and He reminded me He would be with me. But if I turned back? Then what? He would still be with me, He reminded me. I turned back around, and my Father in heaven stayed with me! I knew I would never walk over a bridge like that ever again no matter how much I wanted to reach a destination! No way would I face that fear again! No way would I deal with that discomfort! I would stay on familiar ground, with what I knew, with what felt safe, easy, secure. No more heights, bridges, river down below, massive change, enormous crossing over.
Less than two weeks later, totally petrified, I walked over a massive bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn way higher up than imaginable, terrified the entire time, praying to and praising and singing to the Lord all along the way, until He brought me to the other side, all the way to my destination. The fear was phenomenal, but in God’s mercy, not only did He stay with me that first time when I turned around and didn’t make it, but He stayed with me as He led me all the way across a major bridge when I tried to do again what made me more afraid than imaginable. The Lord led me to my destination, staying with me all along the way, every single step, every single breath, right there with me. To the Lord all the glory belonged! I was ecstatic! I had placed my trust in Him and was willing to be terrified because this time I wanted to persevere.
Sometimes the Lord tells us to cross over a major bridge way high up above the ground going a long distance from where we’ve been to where we’re going, and we’re so terrified that even when we realize He’s there with us we still choose to turn back to the place where we started off, going back to what’s familiar, what’s comfortable, what we’ve known, what doesn’t involve risk, what feels secure rather than going on the terrifying adventure of crossing over a major bridge over a really big river to the other side, to our destination. We hurry back to where we started, and we determine there’s no way we’re ever going to climb those stairs to the bridge again and persevere in crossing over. But sometimes that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to catch our breath, seek the Lord, figure out if He in fact is leading us to the destination on the other side of the river, and if He is leading us to cross over that bridge, no matter how scary it may be for us, we need to place our trust in Him to lead us over the bridge to where He desires to take us.
I believe some people reading this have places in their lives the Lord wants to take them, whether geographically or otherwise, whether related to jobs, ministry work, new relationships, marriage, having children, missions work, sharing the Gospel with a neighbor, getting off the streets and finding a job and housing or a Christ-centered program to help with the transition to the life God has chosen for you, turning oneself in to the police and confessing a crime, letting go of something or someone the Lord has clearly told you to let go, helping someone in desperate need of help you’ve been resisting helping because of the sacrifice involved, leading a Bible study group, or anything at all THE LORD has placed in your heart, and that you’ve been too scared to climb over the bridge to the destination God has for you. Maybe you’ve even tried before, once, or many times, and you figure you’ll never make it and you just don’t want to do with the discomfort of it all especially the fear involved in crossing the bridge to get to the destination where the Lord desires to lead you.
Friend, if the Lord is calling you, follow Him. No matter your fear, no matter what you have allowed to keep you from crossing over the river, place your hand in His and do as I did. Pray to Him. Praise Him. Sing to Him. Place your trust in Him and let Him lead you to where He desires to take you even when the bridge is long, even when the bridge is high, high over the water, even when you have many stairs to climb to get up onto the bridge, even when the weather’s hot, even when the fear won’t let up, go where the Lord takes you. Go with Him!