My friend, may I ask you a question? Physical bridges are important in connecting neighbors. But, did you know, emotional bridges are just as important? The best of relationships, separated by an unforgiving spirit, are difficult to sustain unless someone bridges the gap of hurt with a forgiving spirit. Is there someone in your life today that has hurt you?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Holly and I live on a small, rural road that is only lightly traveled. Noname Creek divides our property from the proper- ties that lie to the north of Beech Springs. The creek travels across the highway and for years a simple concrete and steel bridge spanned the creek, connecting our neighbors on the other side; that was until early this past summer. The bridge was removed and replaced with a new bridge. However, in the interim, there was no bridge at all. It was strange for a while. If you wanted to visit a neighbor only a few feet away you either had to put on a pair of boots and wade across the creek or drive several roundabout miles to get to the other side. For years we took being able to get to the neighbors for granted. But for lack of a few tons of concrete and steel, it became very apparent that we should have appreciated that old bridge a bit more than we had.
Physical bridges are important in connecting neighbors. But, did you know, emotional bridges are just as important?
Here’s a story: When the first missionaries came to Alberta, Canada, they were savagely opposed by a young chief of the Cree Indians named Mas-ke-pe-toon. But he responded to the gospel and accepted Christ. Shortly afterward, a member of the Blackfoot tribe killed his father. Mas-ke-pe-toon rode into the village where the murderer lived and demanded that he be brought before him. Confronting the guilty man, he said, “You have killed my father, so now you must be my father. You shall ride my best horse and wear my best clothes.” In utter amazement and remorse his enemy exclaimed, “My son, now you have killed me!” He meant, of course, that the hate in his own heart had been completely erased by the forgiveness and kindness of the Indian chief. (Today in the Word, November 10, 1993.)
A vast gulf stood between the chief and that guilty man. In wisdom the chief knew that a gulf like this could only be breached by building a bridge. When we choose to show mercy to those who have harmed us, a bridge of forgiveness connects us, heart to heart. If that bridge is missing, it won’t be long before we realize that despite the fact someone who has offended us or has been offended by us may be as a close as a relative or perhaps even a child or spouse, you might as well be separated by no relationship at all. The best of relationships, separated by an unforgiving spirit, are difficult to sustain unless someone bridges the gap of hurt with a forgiving spirit. Is there someone in your life today that has hurt you? Perhaps it may even be someone very close to you. Don’t be content to stand on the other side of the hurt hoping that everything will eventually work out. Start building that bridge of forgiveness today. Kill the hate before it spreads.
We pray. Lord Jesus, You teach us to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.” (Col. 3:15) When I forgive in words, allow your Holy Spirit to fill my heart with peace. I pray this peace that only comes from Jesus will rule in my heart, keeping out doubt and questions. And above all, I am thankful. Not just today, not just this week, but always. Thank you for the reminder, “Always be thankful.” (Col. 3:15) With gratitude I can draw closer to you and let go of unforgiveness. With gratitude I can see the person who caused my pain as a child of the Most High God. Loved and accepted. Help me find the compassion that comes with true forgiveness. In Jesus Name! Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.