In THE late 1960s (when I was a teenager), Simon and Garfunkel produced an album, ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’. My friend Robert was asked to speak at a youth service and took the title song of that album as his theme.
While I now forget the exact words, the thrust of the sermon was that God is a bridge who carries the Christian over times of trouble. Fifty some years later I am convinced (and I am sure that Robert is, too) that the God I follow does not provide a path over troubled water but is a guide through troubled waters.
Jesus promised His disciples pain and suffering, the apostle Paul assumed that Christians would face suffering, and my experience is that each of us will face suffering of one kind or another throughout our lives. The difference that God makes is that He walks with us through those times to comfort us and to provide strength and guidance so that we might prevail.
In the midst of trouble the Christian does not look backward with regret or forward with despair. With a real sense of the presence of God we look backward with thanksgiving for His faithfulness and forward with hope.
To paraphrase Paul Simon’s words: “When you’re weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes I will dry them all. When times are rough and friends just can’t be found, as a companion through troubled waters I will give my all”. Our God promises to be a comfort to all those who trust in Him in times of trouble.
– BOB BAXTER