I remember when I was a child those occasions that my dad took my brother and me fishing. One of his favorite spots was the creek a few miles from our house. We would set up our poles on forked sticks and watch for the fish to take our bait. I remember catching nothing on one occasion and dad decided that we should try fishing on the other side of the creek. The only way to cross the creek was through the covered bridge. I didn’t realize it back then that a covered bridge would become a picturesque piece of Indiana history. They would be painted by artists, appear on calendars and puzzles and be designated as famous historical landmarks. I just knew that if we were going to catch any fish we had to cross the creek over that covered bridge.
The Bible speaks of another crossing with far more significance than catching fish or not. This crossing has to do with our eternal destiny. The Bible tells us that our sins have separated us from God and we will not be able to spend eternity in heaven with Him if we maintain that state of separation. Isaiah 59:2 says: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear”. But there is some wonderful news in John 5:24. It says: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life”. Those who believe in Christ, those who trust Him as their Savior from sin, pass from death to life. They cross over from one side to the other. They cross over to eternal life through the greatest bridge in history.
Have you crossed over? Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior? He is the only way we can get from our state of separation from God to enjoy eternal life. Believe in Him, trust in Him. He is God’s covered bridge.
Some men in our church were working out in the yard recently removing a tree. Chuck was the man on the chainsaw and as he worked he began not to feel well. He went into the shed and sat on the golf cart to catch his breath. However, he began to feel a pain in his chest and arm. Chuck was having a heart attack. He couldn’t alert the other guys so he called his wife. She called the church secretary who found Chuck and called 911. The ambulance arrived very quickly and sped to the hospital with lights and sirens. Just as Chuck arrived at the hospital his heart stopped and he had to be shocked. His heart stopped a total of five times and the crew working on him thought he was not going to make it. But God had other plans for Chuck. He was brought back from the brink of death and the doctors were able to put a stent in the artery that was clogged. Chuck walked out of the hospital in 2 days and is making a full recovery. The ambulance workers, the hospital personnel, Chuck and his friends all call his recovery a miracle.
When I think of Chuck’s chainsaw miracle two lessons seem to stand out to me. The first lesson is: life is so precious we need to live each day as a gift from God. None of us know how long we have on this earth. The Bible tells us: “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). We need to live to the hilt every situation we believe to be the will of God for us. May God awaken us each day with an awareness of the preciousness of another day and the opportunities we have to serve Him.
The other lesson I am reminded of from Chuck’s chainsaw miracle is: God is so sovereign that we need to rest in His loving will. Nothing can happen to us without God allowing it. The book of Job teaches us that even trials and tragedies of life have to pass through His sovereign sieve before they touch us. He will not even allow death to take us until our work is finished.
We all should praise God for everyday miracles. Yet Chuck’s wife tells me she is not letting him handle a chainsaw for a while.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation