Sermon Illustrations

Illus.: “To Build a Bridge”

The Brooklyn Bridge is truly a miracle bridge. In 1863, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea for this spectacular span. Bridge-building experts throughout the world told him it was a crazy idea and that he should forget it. It couldn’t be done. But Roebling wouldn’t forget it. It was his dream. So he convinced his son, Washington, who was a young up-and-coming engineer, that the bridge could be built. So the two of them developed a plan of attack. With unharnessed excitement and inspiration, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project was only a few months under construction when a tragic accident took the life of John Roebling and severely injured his son, Washington. He was left with permanent brain damage and was unable to talk or walk. Everyone felt that the project would be scrapped, but even though Washington couldn’t speak or walk, his mind was as sharp as ever. And he still had a burning desire to complete the bridge. An idea hit him in his hospital bed and he developed a code for communication. All he could move was one finger, so he touched the arm of his wife with that finger, tapping out a code to communicate to her what to tell the engineers who were building the bridge. For 13 years, Washington tapped out his instruction with his finger until the spectaculor Brooklyn Bridge was finally completed.

Lord, give us that kind of determination, that kind of stamina.

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