God Built a Bridge

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
See that lighthouse yonder, flashing in the darkness? One, two, three white flashes. It is a bull point, and shines over the Morte Rock, a Norman name, signifying "Death Rock." It is not far from shore, but a death-rock indeed it has proved to many, though there is a bright story attached to it.
Years ago, a Norwegian brig, the "Odin," was passing the rock, bound for Llanelly. She was laden with timber, and commanded by a Christian captain who read his Bible and prayed every day with his crew. In the dead of the night and during a storm the ship ran upon the Slipper rock. There was no lighthouse there then, so the disaster was not to be wondered at. What shall we say of those who run upon the rocks of sin in the clear rays of God's lighthouse? Such wrecks are willful, not accidental.
The doom of the "Odin" seemed certain, as she lay alone and unseen upon the rocks. Some of the crew were for taking to the boats, but in that fearful sea it was impossible for a boat to live. Signals for human aid were useless, but they could signal to the Lord, who holds the sea in the hollow of his hand, and has said, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." Psa. 50:1515And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. (Psalm 50:15).
It was a time of trouble indeed. No help was near, and so the captain said, "Let us pray unto the good Lord; He can do great things."
All knelt down as best they could, with the exception of an Englishman, who appeared to think prayer was useless. Like many a man, in spiritual matters he thought they had better do something toward their own salvation. Yet he knew that all their efforts to save themselves had proved powerless, and the captain was right in praying in his simple language to One who was able to do what they could not do.
"What next?"
"We will wait and see," was the only order from the captain's lips. Soon their peril became greater than ever—a heavy sea broke upon the vessel, and split her in two! Was God trying their faith, or was their prayer in vain?
The crew kept together as much as was possible, and questioned: "What now, Captain?" Still the same answer was given: "We will wait and see." Would to God we could always have such patient trust in Him in distress. It would be rewarded, as was theirs.
Through the hole in her side, made in their vessel by the heavy sea that had struck her asunder, the logs of timber stored within the ship began to wash out. One by one they floated out, and were tossed upon the rocks. Presently a watchful eye began to observe what was taking place. The waves were building the logs into a wooden bridge from the wreck—rock to rock—to the shore!
"Captain, I believe we can cross to land!" the observer exclaimed. Was this to be their way of deliverance? Not of man—not of themselves—not of any plan they could have devised—was their salvation to come. This proved to be their experience, and it may be yours.
Who could have planned God's way of salvation from the wreck of sin? Not of man's work, not of angel's aid, but all of His own wisdom, and by His own strong arm. Wrecked one, here is your hope. A wonderful bridge spans the waters of death, even Jesus, "the new and living Way," and "no man cometh unto the Father," but by Him.
At the sailor's words the captain looked upon what was being wrought by the waves. "Not yet, my men; wait a little longer," were his orders.
Again they prayed. Light was dawning, and they could see that there was just one space between the rocks which they could not pass. Then, guided by the Divine hand, another wave swept out some fresh logs and laid them exactly where they were needed. The bridge was now complete—a God built— bridge-and over it the drenched sailors scrambled. By God's preserving care they reached the bay and climbed a little path to the fields above.
Those who ought to have been on the lookout for these in trouble on their rocky coast seemed to have neglected their duty, for there were none watching to give the shipwrecked men any help; but the Lord led them over the fields into a road. "It leads somewhere," said they; "let us follow it."
Drenched and hungry, before long they came into the little village of Morthoe and to an inn. There the proprietor soon understood that food and warmth would be acceptable. But first thing the good captain did was to assemble his men to give thanks to God. They had cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He had brought them out of their distresses. Now they were safe and grateful.
"Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
Friend out of Christ, the only escape from the wreckage of sin is living trust in the Savior of sinners. He has made a bridge from a lost eternity to everlasting life for all whose faith rests in the saving power of His shed blood. That bridge is Christ—Himself, His work, His word. Will you accept Him and His way now?