Parents asked us, “if your friends jump off a bridge will you?” but maybe they should have asked would we jump if we didn’t have any friends.Journal entry: July 2018
I honestly can’t tell you why I wrote that five months ago. I have a feeling my anxiety and fear played a huge part. Did I plan on jumping off a bridge? I don’t think so, but those kind of things cross your mind when you’re overwhelmed and can’t think straight.
I can tell you one thing, though. I will never think about jumping off a bridge again. Nor will I ever answer sarcastically when someone says, “would you jump off a bridge if your friends did?”
Today changed my life.
I had just snapped the above picture. Yeah, Jesus and His reckless love are closer than they appear.
Preparing for a 40 minute drive home, I decided to ponder what the picture really meant. But my pondering came to a screeching halt quickly.
There we were. Coming up on a bridge that goes across the interstate. Because the bridge has sidewalks along it, there is a safety fence surrounding it. Now at first I wasn’t entirely sure what I was seeing. I noticed a car off to the side with both of the doors open. And then I saw a guy who appeared to be squatting on the inside of the bridge.
However, as we approached the bridge I realized the man was hanging on the outside of the safety fence; dangling over the interstate we were driving on! And there appeared to be a woman on the inside of the bridge pleading for the man to come back over the fence.
My heart stopped. Me and the driver were both in shock and I don’t think we realized fully what was happening. As we drove under the bridge I looked up to see the man reach the bottom of the fence with one foot now hanging off. I was speechless. But God gave me one word. I yelled, “PRAY!”
Immediately we began praying. What else could we do?! We couldn’t remember what bridge it was and so we couldn’t call 911. We turned around and hoped someone had already called the police since traffic was fairly busy. As we passed the bridge again, we saw the man back on the bridge, inside the fence, being detained by the police. I’d like to say my heart started back up, but it’s been hours since the incident and I’m still shaking.
Our entire day was orchestrated for that very moment. God had us pass under that bridge, knowing we would do the only thing us humans can do…pray.
Remember my journal entry up top? Would we jump if we didn’t have any friends? I’m not saying the man obviously has no friends if he was willing to jump, I’m just saying he clearly didn’t have THE friend [John 15:15].
This man thought taking his life was a solution. And it destroys me knowing it. He didn’t see hope. But let me tell you something about Jesus. Just like that picture says, His love is closer than it appears. The man thought no one cared or understood. And yet Jesus orchestrated our entire day to intercede for him, a complete stranger, when he needed it most.
Jesus made sure we found what we needed at the store. And made us wait just long enough in the check-out line. He gave us patience to allow others to go in front of us. He gave us confusion to drive a little slower when we almost took a wrong turn. All so we could drive under just as that man’s foot was reaching down to the busy interstate.
As we drove home after our u-turn to make sure he was okay, my friend said, “it’s hard to fathom people denying God’s existence when things like this happen.” The only thing I could think to say was that too many people focus on why God would let him jump in the first place rather than focusing on the fact God saved him.
Friends, we have free will. And that means we have freedom to deny His love and ignore His existence. Trust me, I did it for years. But He’s still fighting for your heart. And I promise He is closer than He appears. ALWAYS. We only have to let Him in. Let Him know we NEED him.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.Psalm 145:18 ESV
…that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us…Acts 17:27 ESV
I continue to pray for the man on the bridge. My heart aches for him. May God reveal His love and peace to him. May he reach his hand out to find his Creator. He will never know what kind of love was given on his behalf today. But I pray he realizes the love that was given for him so many years ago on the cross.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16 KJV
Father, I thank you for keeping the man on the bridge safe. Thank you for orchestrating our day and hearing our prayers. May this be a reminder of why it is so important to be in relationship and constant contact with You. My walk with you is not only about me but also those around me who I can fight for. Abba, Your love truly is reckless and unconditional. I ask that you continue to show me this world through Your eyes and with Your heart. And may Your will be done here as it is in Heaven. ❤
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.Galatians 5:13 NIV
From Her Fortress.