“But forget all that — it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)
Brooke and her little sister had been watching the construction of a new bridge since school had started. The construction was along the route they always took to school and, at first, neither was sure what the construction was going to be. There were huge machines, giant steel posts, and what looked like huge ladders laying on either side of a current highway. About a month into the school year, when the posts had been placed over the old highway and the huge ladders had started reaching out from either side, they realized it was going to be a bridge.
Throughout the school year they had watched as, little by little, the bridge began to take shape. It seemed like great progress was being made every day. Right before Christmas, it looked like there was just a little space left to close before the foundation of the bridge was completed and the two sides would be joined. But then the cold weather and the snow came and construction had halted on the bridge. But in the last two weeks, the weather had warmed and the big cranes were operating once again, putting the pieces in place that would join one side to another. They had watched anxiously each morning, taking bets on whether or not the bridge had finally been put together. But progress seemed slow at this stage, maybe because they were expecting it to be completed every time they passed by.
Brooke thought about building bridges and what was happening in her family. When Dad had first left, Mom immediately began to pray for him, that the Lord would touch and change his heart and bring him back to Him and to his family. She had told the girls that “standing” for Dad was a lot like building a bridge. She talked about how God was providing the raw materials to build – His Word and His promises. It was up to them to provide the labor – their prayers, their forgiveness and their unconditional love.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)
And just like the bridge construction, things really started to take off fast. It seemed like every day brought Dad a little closer to home and every day they would see a little bit softer heart. But then progress had been halted by some circumstances and it seemed like their bridge building was at a standstill. But Mom had continued to pray and continued to love unconditionally. She prayed more and fasted more and gave more. Brooke and her sister had joined Mom in nightly prayers for Dad’s salvation. Slowly, he began to warm again and things had started to move. Until now, Brooke could feel, he was so close to coming home, she could almost touch it.
That night Brooke prayed especially that the bridge building would be completed. She knew that Mom had told her that God had the perfect time in mind to fulfill His promise to their family. But things were so close and it was so hard to wait for completion. “Lord,” she prayed. “I know that Your plans are better than mine or Mom’s or Kara’s. Dad is so close to coming home to You and to us. I pray that You will complete the good work You have begun in our family. Bring my daddy home, Lord. Thank You. Amen.”
The next morning as they drove to school, Brooke was busy looking over her science notes. Suddenly she felt a sharp poke in her ribs from Kara. “Brooke,” she exclaimed, “they finished the bridge.”
Brooke looked out the side window. Sure enough, there it was. The foundation for the bridge had been completed. The two sides had been joined. Now the real work of making it usable could begin. With a smile on her face, Brooke gave God a thumbs up. She knew that He had heard her prayer and that soon the bridge-building in her own family would be completed.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska