formed by ice

In very cold places, it is quite common for the surface of a river to freeze over while the water still flows beneath.  I have crossed many such rivers safely and easily.  But if I travel in tropical regions and tell people that there are bridges of solid water across flowing rivers…they shake their heads in complete bewilderment…Likewise, those who live only by the senses and by reason are utterly ignorant of the spiritual life and what things are possible through prayer.

-Sundar Singh

3185143215_6c6757ea96(photo from fiikus via

I came across this quote while reading a collection of Singh’s teachings, Wisdom of the Sadhu*.  It’s easy to read this as a follower of Jesus, having experienced miracles through prayer, and pity those who only live by the senses and reason.

And yet- when I stop and think about it, I wonder how often I have looked at a situation and shaken my head in complete bewilderment.  How often have I be slow to believe that a river in my life could be crossed?  How often have I asked for the bridge, not believing that it could be formed of the very river in my way?

The most common “river” in my way seems to be life circumstances, challenges, and struggles that seem to be just in the way.  However, Jesus is faithful to turn those situations into bridges as I am transformed by passing over them.  His Spirit uses what I see as an inconvenience to shape my heart, and slowly but surely, I am learning to quit shaking my head.

The LORD will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

-Psalm 138:8

*Singh, a Christian Sadhu (wandering holy man), left his Sikh family and religion to follow Jesus at the age of 16. The year was 1905, and his home was India.  He spent 40 years wandering, teaching, and living the love of Jesus.  He is an excellent example of contextualizing the truth of Jesus without compromising it.


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