German immigrant John Roebling began building the Brooklyn Bridge in New York in 1870. In 1883 it was completed along with an amazing story of three people’s determination.
Mr. Roebling was told by bridge building experts to give up trying his impossible design. Undeterred, he talked his son Washington, also an engineer into helping him. Together they hired a crew and began work. While conducting surveys for the project, a ferry pinned John’s foot against a piling so severely injuring his toes that his foot required amputation. Then the crippled man developed a tetanus infection which led to his death!
Washington took over the project but while working in a watertight retaining structure called a caisson (used to build the foundations of piers); he contracted decompression sickness—commonly known as the bends. Unable to talk or walk, somehow from his bed, Washington devised a method of communicating with his wife Emily by tapping on her arm. With Washington’s tutelage, “Emily studied higher mathematics, the calculations of catenary curves, the strengths of materials, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction.”She spent the next 11 years assisting Washington in guiding the engineers in the bridge construction at a cost of over $15 million and the loss of 27 lives. Emily was the first person to cross the bridge when it opened “and for several years, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world—50% longer than any previously built. Today the Brooklyn Bridge is a treasured landmark.”
Acts 2:22-24—Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know. Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
While we marvel at human resolve to accomplish dreams, consider this. God chose Jesus to rescue mankind from an incurable separating disease called sin. He planned failure to achieve success. He used His divine knowledge of what lawless people would do to kill His perfect Son and then accomplished the impossible. He raised Him from the dead giving us an atoning sacrifice! This strength of mind was forged by God’s irrepressible love for us.
So the next time you are discouraged remember how resolute God is to love you. When failures mount and depression sets in like some cold, dreary fog, bear in mind that God’s saving plan for you who love Him, believe in Him, and follow Him—is fail proof. One determined man designed a suspension bridge over a river. One determined God designed a salvation bridge over hell—that’s something to think about . . . in reveration!
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Weigold, Marilyn (1984). Silent Builder: Emily Warren Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge. Associated Faculty Press. McCullough, David (1983). The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 421. "Emily Warren Roebling". American Society of Civil Engineers.