The wind felt different that October night in 1994. Love was in the air and it blew my way above the Tennessee river to where I was standing at the entrance to the Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga. This bridge has a history. Designed by Engineer, Edwin Thatcher, it was erected in 1890. The walking distance across is 0.45 miles, which is why it’s regarded as one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the United States.
I grabbed Gina’s hand and we started the walk across the bridge. As we strolled along, “I love you” came out of my mouth as I looked at her and squeezed her hand. I know those three words are overused and abused today. Love is a verb. If I really love her I will demonstrate that love over and over until the day she dies.
Our relationship has a history. From the 80-year old widow who set us up on a blind date to walking that same bridge almost 25 years later. Many times we recount all that we have walked over and through. Rather than take credit for the effort “we” have put into our marriage, we believe God blessed us, as He led us together in His providence.
God has a history. He spoke through leaders, judges and prophets to woo men and women to Himself, evidenced in many books in the Old Testament (OT). From the last book in the OT of Malachi to the first book in the New Testament of Matthew, 400 years past when God was silent.
Then, God became a person and entered the earth He created. He bridged His love for mankind through the life of His son; the person Jesus. There is no other way to get to God but through the sacrificial cross of Jesus Christ. He’s “the” bridge.
God may have wooed you to Himself many years ago. Even though you accepted the invitation, time flew by, life got messy, and the flurry of activity replaced that close relationship you used to have. Maybe you don’t talk to Him anymore. Maybe, the band-aid you put on to cover up your soul is church attendance.
Our world is based on exteriors. Performance. Metrics. Responsibility.
From The Sacred Romance, the late Brent Curtis and John Eldrege wrote, “But for many of us, the waves of first love ebbed away in the whirlwind of Christian service and activity, and we began to lose the Romance.”
Yes, we can serve the Kingdom instead of the King, but our love will grow cold, and our soul will come up empty. That’s why some believers burn out.
Jesus said, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” (Revelation 2:4, NIV)
Curtis and Eldredge provide more convicting truth, “Sadly, most of us watch the oil level in our car more carefully than we watch over the life of our heart.” Will you hold God’s hand and continue walking with Him? His hand is extended.
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his iPhone