The phrase “hanging by a thread” is used to describe many different things – a loose tooth, a spider web, and at times even one’s sanity. It is not a good thing when the only bridge in and out of your neighborhood is “hanging by a thread.”
When the bridge was built, it was not built with the thought that big, heavy trucks would be coming in and out on a daily basis. Over time, the bridge has become more and more unstable. Last year during rainy season, the bridge shook when anything drove across it. People were saying then that the bridge would not last much longer. Instead of doing something about it then, the daily traffic continued – cars, taxis, tro-tros (public transport vans), buses, dump trucks, and other large trucks carrying heavy loads.
We had a heavy rain this week. That along with the heavy traffic caused a small hole in the middle of the bridge. The hole was big enough to put one’s arm through the hole. Instead of trying to patch the hole, the village people decided that if they made the hole bigger, the bridge would have to be replaced. (There is a Chinese factory out past our house; they bring a lot of big trucks in. The village people are saying that the Chinese should build a new bridge, although there are many others who pass through with much heavier loads.) Meanwhile, they were not allowing any traffic to cross the bridge. This creates a problem when that is the only way to get to your house. They got busy with their hammers and made the hole bigger. If anyone tried to cross the bridge, they were rewarded with a shovel full of water in the face.
My husband was allowed to cross the bridge in the morning when he took the kids to school, but they were not allowing anyone to cross when he returned from the trip to the school. He spent the day in town so that he would be able to get the kids from school. They still were not allowing any traffic to cross after school. So, they parked at a friend’s house a couple miles away and made the two-mile walk home from school. We had received a package at the post office that day. So, Danny, our six-year-old, was carrying the package. He lost his footing on the trail and fell, spilling the package contents on the hillside. They retrieved the items and continued on their way home.
This was no ordinary two-mile walk down a nicely paved road. It was a two-mile walk on little foot trails through the jungle. It involved going up and down two rather large hills on slick clay. More falling was involved than actual walking. Everyone was a little tuckered out by the time they reached the top of our hill.
As soon as they got home, my husband had to make the two-mile walk back to the car to go out to a village. When he returned from the village and had left our vehicle with another missionary for the night, he discovered that they were allowing cars to cross the bridge. So, he went back to get our vehicle and finally made it home.
At this point, we do not know how long the bridge will be passable. The hole is only going to get bigger. The bigger problem is that the main support beam underneath the bridge is cracked and shifts each time the bridge is crossed. We tried to find an alternate route to the house. There are a few little roads and foot trails. Any road that might have made it back to our house has been blocked by debris in the road. So, for now, we will just praise the Lord that they are still allowing vehicles to cross the bridge. When the bridge is no longer passable, we will definitely be getting our exercise.
In times like these, it easy to let frustration and discouragement move in. But, it is in such times that we must bring Scripture passages to mind and go on. Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” We can always find something to be glad about if we just look for it. Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.”
If you have a story that you would like to share with us, please e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next week, keep your sunny side up!