Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Debbi Bryson—Bridge Over Troubled Waters

By Debbi Bryson

KayleeDebbi Bryson is a popular teacher at Calvary Chapel women’s retreats. Her new daily devotional, Wisdom for Women, was also recently released in Spanish.

We lived in Oregon for many years. We Oregonians called our state “God’s Country” because it is so beautiful. Portland, Oregon is a city divided by rivers with twelve bridges connecting the sides. The main bridge is the Fremont, which connects main freeways and sections of the city. I have to admit—driving over it still scares me. It is very high over the widest part of the river and the traffic is fast—thank God for guard rails.

So, what does that have to do with anything—actually? We all know as we’ve watched the protests rage on the news—Downtown Portland has been full of anger and fear and damage for three months. Will it ever end? Will it ever be safe again? Will it ever heal? Good questions.

Debbie BrysonDoesn’t it seem that there are some sort of dark-engineered forces and motives converging on us from many directions? Many agree. But for a moment, let’s set aside the global, national and even local impact and bring it closer to home. I feel the Lord wants us to hear from Him regarding our personal worlds.

So—how? How do we build bridges over the stress and barricades of extremely differing opinions with people, people we love—families—different age groups—people in close quarters?

First encouraging word: God has given us His Word as an instruction manual. We need to open the pages and use it. We need to build bridges—built not with natural but with supernatural tools and materials. Looking to 1 Corinthians 13, we find concrete answers: LOVE NEVER FAILS. That is always true. Bridges need huge steel piers that support the weight. Love supports the road we need to build. Hold onto that truth.

Fremont Bridge

The Fremont Bridge in Portland, Oregon connects major highways to key points of the city. 

The ways of love:

1. Love is patient. Be slow to speak and quick to hear. That doesn’t mean you cannot speak—just slow down. Pray, pray, pray.

2. Love is kind. Don’t use words as weapons.

3. Love is not easily provoked, is not rude. Enough said.

4. Love does not seek its own.

I know … as we lay these principles before us, we are thinking, “Easier said than done,” right? God agrees. We can’t fight a spiritual battle with just natural love or wisdom. But here’s the good news—we don’t have to. God has promised that He will give us His love, His strength, His wisdom, and His Grace, all for the asking. Ask and ask and ask … and you shall receive.

One final word. If you have felt hurt, offended, misunderstood … forgive (as you have been forgiven). Don’t overthink and brood. Then just build a bridge and get over it.


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.