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Christian Inspirational Stories
The Bridge

 

There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the time, the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. However, at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing the train to cross it.

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 lights. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance where he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but to his horror, he realized that the locking controls had malfunctioned. If the bridge was not secured in position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train crosses the bridge, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. There would be numerous casualties as the oncoming train was a passenger train with many people aboard.

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The switchman hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train as he took hold of the lever and leaned backwards to apply his weight to it. He kept applying pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.

Suddenly, he heard a sound across the bridge from the direction of his control shack that made his blood run cold.
“Daddy, where are you?”
His four years old son was crossing the bridge to look for him.
His first impulse was to cry out to the child, “Run! Run!”
However, the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever so as to run up and carry his son to safety. He stopped himself from doing that as he realized that he could not get back to the lever in time. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision.

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The train sped through the bridge safely and swiftly. No one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked. He had to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

Now if you comprehend the emotions which went this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when he sacrificed his son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Would there be any wonder if he caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when his son died? How does he feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ?

 

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