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Archive for June, 2013

Bridges

Photo May 26, 11 48 05 AM

What’s the good word? Well, I’m back from Ethiopia, and I must say that the experience was truly life changing. My next several posts will most likely be about my time there and my thoughts on what I saw and heard. It seemed that every where that we went in Ethiopia the people were happy. As I walked into little mud and straw huts no bigger than the size of my living room, families were happy. Happy for me to be there, happy to show me their less than adequate (by our standards) home, proud of what they had. People suffering from lack of nutrition, lack of proper medical care, and lack of clean water, happy. Happy to see me. Not because I represented “money”, but because I cared enough to show up. It made problems back at home look petty and small. I began to ask myself, “Why was I upset again? Why did I feel that I had it so bad?” We often ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I wish I knew. But I place my hope in Scripture, that when Jesus tells his disciples that it isn’t God that makes those things happen, that it really isn’t God. I don’t think these people that I met blamed God, in fact I saw faithful and devote believers. More faithful and devout than many people I know who are here in the states who have it good, myself included. Then I came across a verse on my trip that caught my attention. It’s from Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk though the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Do you know that the word bridge doesn’t occur in the Bible? Not one time. Some say it is because God doesn’t build bridges, God divides seas. And others say that usually God’s people must pass through the difficult currents in life, not simply ride over them. Here’s what I find in Scripture, that God promises to be with us as we travel “through” rivers, and seas, and troubles. I don’t think I ever read a verse that talked about God promising to be with us as we travel “over” rivers, and seas, and troubles. God promises to be with us in life and in death. Through the good times and the bad times. When we were in the village of Robit we saw the bridge above. As we met with the elders and the village, they time and time again talked about this bridge. Every year during the rainy season, the river floods and the majority of folks on the other side are cut off from the rest of the village. Cut off from the water wells being built, cut off from medical supplies, and cut off from school and church. For days, the village is flooded and folks flee to their rooftops to wait it out. Once the river goes back down, they come down and proceed to pick up the pieces. I guess you can say that the people of Robit get the whole “God doesn’t build bridges” thing. For they have gone through the trials and tribulations of the river time and time again. And yet, they have faith. Faith in God, faith in each other, faith in their fellow brothers and sisters that they will help. Next time you are swimming through the floods of life, remember that God is with you, and that our God is in the habit of parting waters, not building bridges. And that’s the good word for today!

Photo May 26, 10 16 32 AM

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