One wet Sunday afternoon when I was a kid I remember watching the film “Force 10 from Navarone”, it is set in the second world war, and a group of English Officers and some Americans have to join forces to assassinate a double agent and blow up a bridge.
Spoiler alert, blowing up the bridge doesn’t go according to plan, it looks indestructible, they only have a small amount of explosives, the problem seems insurmountable.
As the story progresses, the team end up coming across a dam, and they realize that if they blow up the dam, then the bridge would be hit by tons and tons of water enough to bring it down…
By blowing up the dam, the bridge fell and the mission was fulfilled.
Often we look at a problem and we can’t see a solution, because we only can see what is in our vision, what is in front of our eyes, and don’t see the fuller and wider picture that God sees.
Sometimes, like the guys in the film, we think we know best -we think we know how to blow up the bridge- and yet so so often our ways don’t work, and yet God’s ways does.
Sometimes, when we serve God, the areas he seems to be stirring don’t seem to match up with where we think he should be working, where the obvious need and problem is, yet with hindsight I have looked back and only later do I understand.
Even when I don’t understand, sometimes it is a case of trusting that despite what we can see, what we think God is still on the throne, God is still in control and (even when it doesn’t feel it) God is still good.
When the wine skins were empty looking at the foot washing jars seems crazy, yet it worked, I can imagine the servants looking at each other when Mary, Jesus’ Mother, saying “do what ever he tells you”, thinking “this will never work” -but it did!
Scripture calls us to “walk by faith and not by sight” -and the wisdom of Mary (“Do whatever he tells you”) remains good advice. Neil, my former prayer partner, used to have a phrase about the Christian life, where he said “you live life forwards, but understand it backwards”.
As we think of this crazy upside down world, I remember a story from a local youth and community worker, who began working in this Church (which was big step of faith for him) and he felt God call him to play football (which he enjoyed) and felt very self conscious that playing footie wasn’t proper community work, surely God should be calling him to start a youth club or something like this. Yet whilst playing football he made friends, people came to faith, and through this work a youth group was formed with Christian volunteers, and went on to thrive.
What is the bridge in your life you would like to see God blow up?
Where is God calling you to work, what is he calling you to do?
Do you trust him to know what he’s doing and to see the bigger picture?