When I was a young Christian I didn’t really know any Christians to fellowship with or to help me grow. So I just kept reading my Bible and trusted God to lead me where He wanted. During this time period it was hard as I lost friends that didn’t want to hear about this Jesus guy. Income dropped from 4 to 5 figures a week to a low 3 figures. Many other things happened that made it hard for me in my new Christian walk. And not knowing any Christians made it harder. But if we truly seek God’s will He gives us the things we need to stay strong in our walk.
Well one day someone I knew gave me a copy of this short story, that was the last time I saw him. He was not saved, so why God used him to give me this story to this day I don’t know. When I read this story it broke my heart, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months. I must have read it 50 times or more. I must have posted this story more than a dozen places on the internet over the years. I gave out thousands of copies as a type of tract.
The thing this story did for me is it made me want to learn all I could about Jesus, and the great gift He gave me. So for the next few years I just read my Bible and trusted in God until He lead me to 2 men that lead me to a church that helped me to grow even more in my walk with Jesus. By the way one of those 2 men was Pastor Vince. But the thing that kept me learning and growing until that point was this story. So I want to share it with you, and I hope that it will push you to grow in your walk with Christ as it did me.
There was once a big turntable bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with it’s length running up and down the river parallel with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a certain train would come along, and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river to allow it to cross.
A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train’s light. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance, when he turned the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but to his horror, he found the locking control didn’t work. If the bridge was not locked securely into position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came on it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. And this was a passenger train with many people aboard.
He left the bridge turned across the river and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever which he could use to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train passed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack he heard a sound that made his blood run cold: “Daddy, where are you?” His four year old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, “Run! Run!!” But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left the lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety, but he realized he could not get back to the lever in time. Either the people on the train or his little son must die.
He took just a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny, broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the rushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of a sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They didn’t see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked — to tell his wife he had sacrificed their son.
Now, if you can comprehend the emotions which went through this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Heavenly Father when He scarified His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that he caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? And how does he feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ? When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?