Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms
fell into a conflict.
It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side,
sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed
without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart.
It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a
major difference, and finally exploded into an exchange of
bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door.
He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox.
"I'm looking for a few days work," he said.
"Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there.
Could I help you?"
"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you.
Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor,
in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a
meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee
and now there is a creek between us.
Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better!
See that pile of lumber curing by the barn?
I want you to build me a fence ~ an 8-foot fence ~ so I won't
need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation.
Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able
to do a job that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town for supplies,
so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then
he was off for the day.
The carpenter worked hard all that day
measuring, sawing, nailing.
About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter
had just finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.
There was no fence there at all!
It was a bridge ~ a bridge stretching from one side of
the creek to the other!
A fine piece of work ~ handrails and all . . .
and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across,
his hand outstretched.
"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge,
and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand.
They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.
"No, wait! Stay a few days, I've a lot of other projects for you,"
said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said,
"but I have many more bridges to build."
Leave Him To MeAuthor: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture: 1 Peter 5:7
When there is deep misunderstanding which has led to the erection of barriers between two who once were close, every day brings the strengthening of those barriers if they are not, by God's grace, breached. One prays and finds no way at all to break through. Love seems to "backfire" every time. Explanations become impossible. New accusations arise, it seems, from nowhere (though it is well to recall who is named the Accuser of the brethren). The situation becomes ever more complex and insoluble, and the mind goes round and round, seeking the place where things went wrong, brooding over the words which were like daggers, regretting the failures and mistakes, wondering (most painfully) how it could have been different. Much spiritual and emotional energy is drained in this way--but the Lord wants to teach us to commit, trust, and rest.
"Leave him to me this afternoon," is what his word is. "There is nothing else that I am asking of you this afternoon but that: leave him to Me. You cannot fathom all that is taking place. You don't need to. I am at work--in you, in him. Leave him to Me. Some day it will come clear--trust Me."
"Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand, and he will lift you up in due time. Cast all your cares on Him, for you [and the other] are his charge" (l Pt 5:7)
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