I have spent most of my life in Northeastern Ohio. From the age of seven on, aside from one year, I lived in Lake county. I was surprised to learn a few years back about a beautiful bridge that sits behind my good friends house in that very county. When I asked her where the bridge went to, she answered, nowhere. This bridge, which adds to the picturesque scene from her back window, literally sits over the lagoon, going nowhere. According to www.lakecountyohio.gov, this bridge was built in 1924 by a group of investors from Cleveland. They invested more than $1 million dollars to develop the lagoons into an area to be known as “Venice of the North”. There was to be a road that led up to this bridge which would lead to a developed area, however, that road was never started and the area was never developed. The plans for this development came to a halt when the stock market crashed in 1929. Since then, this bridge has been known as “the bridge to nowhere”.
This summer, my husband and I went on a boat ride with our friends. I took this picture as we travelled under this bridge, while I marveled at the thought of it’s history. I was also sad to learn that there was a possibility that this bridge would be torn down. According to a News Herald article, there were studies done to determine whether or not this bridge would be considered historical. If they could determine that it would be, there would be grants and funds to keep the bridge up, but unfortunately, the proof fell short of supporting this. Because the bridge needs repairs and is becoming a danger to boaters, the bridge would need to be torn down.
The demolition has begun as of this week. If you look the bridge up on the internet, you will see pictures of it, however, if you look outside my friends back window in a few months, you will no longer see the bridge. I thought about our faith and how this applies. Over 2,000 years ago, a man walked the earth, his name was Jesus. He lived like any other man, sleeping and eating. He got up in the morning and went to work, just like everyone else, but there was something different about this man. He was the Son of God, the second part of the Trinity. He was sinless, pure, and perfect. He lived among those who just couldn’t get it right and those who had no desire to. He worked to spread the news about His Father in Heaven. He healed the sick, freed the bound and gave legs to the lame. He became such a threat to the religious leaders that they searched for ways to condemn Him. They aresseted Him, beat Him and killed Him. But something happened, He rose to life. He did not stay in the grave, He walked out and He still lives today.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life according to John 14:6. The word says that if we believe that He is the Son of God, we will have eternal life (John 3:16). He is now at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Acts 2:33), but He is still with us, holding us up (Isaiah 41:10). The sad part is, not everyone believes this. The saying goes “I’ll believe it when I see it”, and unfortunately, that’s how many people think of Jesus. Philippians 2:10 says “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth”. But because some can’t physically see Him, they do not believe that He exists.
One of my very favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1 “now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see”. When I think of the bridge, one day we will not see it. It will be gone. The remnants and even tire marks from the demolition equipment will be no longer, but did the bridge exist? Does this mean that it was never there? Not at all, I have this picture to prove it. You see, we have a picture of Jesus too, the Word of God. John 1:1-3 says “In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God, He was in the beginning with God”. Who was in the beginning? Jesus, that’s who. So we need to believe that as much as that bridge stood for ninety years, our Lord has been standing for over two thousand years, even if we can't see Him.
So as you ponder your thoughts on your belief, remember that sometimes we need to trust beyond what we can see. Just because there is no visible proof of our faith, we need to press on in our belief, knowing that many years ago, Jesus stood on this earth and now stands in Heaven. Unlike the bridge that was determined to have no historical value, Jesus’ life was proven over and over again throughout history. And if we put our faith in Jesus, we will live with Him eternally.