Let me share a funny incident that happened the other day.
Perhaps it can summarize the picture of this bridge introduced in Session #1. As my six year old got seated in the back seat of the car, he looked up and saw something unusual. He saw his sister in the driver seat getting ready to drive. He said something like, "Oh, oh. We're in danger." He never saw her drive before. She only had her driver's permit. But something else happened that brought a welcomed relief. He saw his dad get in the front passenger seat, upon which he said, "Oh, Daddys here. I'm safe!"
That is the way our journey is going to be. We will encounter a host of things we cannot handle on our own. Our peace and joy will depend on how much we realize that our Heavenly Father is with us. God is overseeing our journey. He is right there with us. With a little hope in God we have the faith that we need to leave our worries behind and cross over into the peace of God. We can admit we do not know how to get there, but if we follow the bridge it will lead us to where we otherwise could not reach.
This bridge represents a journey of life with God. When we seek peace, we are actually seeking God Himself. There is no true peace apart from Him. We will be explaining why this is so a bit later in this session.
Many people are facing a great increase in stress and anxiety.
We saw this when a plane crashed in NY in late September after the 911 incident. Just minutes afterwards, the stock market, thinking it was another terrorist attack, took a steep sudden plunge. Man's peace is much like that day's stock market graph; it is anything but stable. Circumstances change from moment to moment. People do their best to hide their anxieties, but once these worries worm their way into their hearts, they become desperate.
Focusing on the solution
We must not see our problems as dead ends but as specially built bridges leading to an opportunity to know the power of God in our lives. As long as we are consumed with escaping our problems, they will always be in front of us. God uses these difficulties to begin or deepen our spiritual walk with Him. If we insist on complaining or just give up, then it means we are not willing to walk over that bridge of hope. However, if we can see that God might just be with us through this mess, then indeed we can go on to the solution.
Our next step over this bridge helps us understand why there is such a thing as worry. Spurgeon said (1),
We need to gain a true understanding of worry so that we can cross over the bridge. By understanding our worries, we will be able to understand our problem. Once we identify and see what the problem is, then we can deal with it and cross on over. This session focuses on understanding why we have worries.
Note how the Psalmist in the Psalm 94:19 did not deny worry or pretend to have a life untouched by worried thoughts.
He understood them. By stating 'when,' he acknowledged worry as something that touched his life. Our next session will get even more practical and focus on our own personal worries, but we first need to get an overall picture of what worry is.