Saturday, June 27, 2009

God on the Greenway: The Bridge

In the time since I’ve been running, I’ve been thinking about running my first 5k. Last week, on the Greenway, I ran just three miles. I would have run more, but it was kind of late on that particular day when I got my start (and I didn’t want to chance running in the dark again!). It took me just under 40 minutes to do. Not bad! Though, hopefully, I can do even better than that!

I was also greatly encouraged by a woman who I often see on the Greenway. I know her by her bright red fanny pack she always has (Yes, a FANNY PACK!!! Oh the horror! LOL). I was fighting a headache and was in one of those “I don’t know how I’m going to get through it” moods when she said, “keep up the good work.”

That’s always a nice boost! It’s nice when someone encourages you like that; and they don’t even really know you! I smiled and thanked her. And, on the way back, I thanked her again and said that her encouragement meant a lot to me. She smiled and said “good.” That’s the thing about encouragement; it benefits the giver AND the receiver. She probably didn’t even know just how much of a positive push she gave me until I expressed how much it meant to me. It was just one of those times where I was not feeling very well, but was trying to run a little anyways, and those five words of affirmation gave me the kind of nudge that I needed to get through it. I had prayed for strength and that I could make three miles straight. God always makes sure to give me some kind of blessing that keeps me pressing on!! He is so good!!

In addition to that, there was one other thing on the Greenway that struck me. It was the little old bridge that was closed off. It was like that the last time too. I don’t know when they’ll repair it, but for now, you have to go around it a few feet to where you are closer to the actual road. While I was doing that, I was listening to a Kutless song “Take Me In”. It’s a great worship song! “Take me into the holy of holies. Take me in by the blood of the lamb. Take me into the holy of holies. Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am.” It was so fitting that I happened to be listening to that particular song as I was going around that bridge. I was thinking, “what if there was no cross, no Jesus, no bridge to God?” If Jesus hadn’t made the way for us, we would still be waiting for the chance to be in the “holy of holies.” Thankfully, however, Jesus’ sacrifice tore that curtain in two! We all have access; relationship with the Father! Praise God!!

I may have been able to go around that bridge and come out the other side, but in real life, there are no short cuts. Jesus is the bridge. We can’t get around Him. As Chad once said, “Jesus is the only way because He’s the only one” (John 14:6). We can’t make our own “way” or expect any other “way” to get us to God. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). Without Christ and His perfect blood, we would be hopeless!! His blood restores and saves us!! Thank God for grace!

I thought of how I sometimes hear the bitter sneers of people that remark that because of Adam and Eve’s screw up, we all have to pay. I hear how unfair it is that because of them, we have to suffer too and that God is somehow unfair as well. Well, it’s like a Pandora’s box, people! With choices come consequences (whether positive or negative). It’s impossible for ANYONE to make a choice and have it not affect others somehow. It’s a ripple effect. Adam and Eve initiated the ripples and it spread. Yes, it’s unfair, but that’s the result of cause and effect. Is there anyone out there complaining about you in the same way? Is there any choices that you have made that have caused others to suffer; even though they didn’t deserve it or ask for it? Undoubtedly, we have all made choices that affect the lives of those around us. It’s inevitable. Our only hope for good is Christ and the fact that He can make the broken beautiful. He can restore! The ripples stop with Him! That’s why He did what He did; to bring us back into fellowship with Him. We have the opportunity to be in the “holy of holies” once again. The relationship that Adam and Eve damaged because of their willful sin is now possible again through Jesus Christ!! That bridge is not closed off to us!! It’s open!! Hallelujah!!

Grace and peace to all of you!! Let us not cease to encourage one another and build each other up; especially in times like these (1Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 10:25). We need each other and the fellowship we have to offer! Moreover, we need the fellowship of Christ; and intimacy with Him in the “holy of holies”. We can have that relationship; the veil is torn and He made it possible!! Blessed be our way-maker and Savior!! God bless you all!!

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