Trusting in the Lord is like a “bridge over troubled water.” (1) Notice: a bridge is only a bridge if it is already built when the waters become troubled. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never too late to trust in the Lord. But when the trials and difficulties begin–the storms and troubled water in our lives– honestly, it’s hard in those moments to trust in the Lord if that’s not already our ingrained habit. Why is that?
Speaking from my own experience–
- Trials blind me
- They scare me
- They confuse me
- And my heart and mind–my thoughts, my understanding of what’s going on, especially the WHY of it all–become a jumbled, chaotic mess of confusion and fear
- My response of either “run” or “fight” can easily take over and control my actions
- Worst of all, I might even turn and accuse the Lord, as though he did it to me. (Let me confess, I do this very, very rarely, but I’ve known others who do this to the point of abandoning their faith in God.)
How then do we build the bridge ahead of time, before the storms and trials begin? It’s easy! We just follow the advice (exhortations, admonitions, encouragements) of pretty much all of our Bible study teachers and pastors. Here’s how to get your bridge built, or in another analogy, to lay that firm foundation.
- Make sure my faith is real–
- Do I truly believe in Jesus? Do I have back and forth conversations with him?
- Do I have a history in my life of interventions by the Lord that I can trace and point to?
- Read my Bible often
- Pray whenever I think of it, and if I never think of it, then pray at a fixed time every day
- Ask the Lord frequently, “Lord, give me a check-up. Show me where I stand with you.”
- Fellowship with other believers, engaging in worship, conversation, and activities with them
Listen, when storms and trials come, and they often come so suddenly–like a flood that sweeps over our heads–faith in our faith will not sustain us. It’s faith in the Lord that sustains us. Our “feelings” toward the Lord won’t sustain us–not when we’re experiencing pure panic. What sustains us is the bridge we’ve already built and used frequently, the bridge that lifts us above the troubled water and carries us to the Rock. Jesus called it a house built upon a Rock (Matthew 7:24-25).
Make sure you work on building your bridge, your foundation, every single day. Don’t be like the grasshopper who looks at the sunshine and says to herself, “It’s never going to rain.” “In the world you WILL have tribulation,” (John 16:33). That is Jesus’s guarantee to us. But he also says, “Take heart; I have overcome the world.” The bridge you build now will take you over the troubled waters to the safety of the Lord. How’s your bridge doing today?
1 Bridge Over Troubled Water is the name of a popular song written by Simon and Garfunkel.