bridge over marsh to Lieutenants' Island
“When your words came I ate them, they were my joy and heart’s delight,
for I bear your name”
The only people who are capable of hearing and understand a word from the Lord are those who are born
again, having asked Jesus to come into their hearts and having made him Lord of their lives. Anyone who
has crossed that bridge gets it. Anyone who hasn’t will take offense at the opening statement. When I was
young my family spent summers on the far end of Cape Cod. My parents had friends who had a cottage on
Lieutenants’ Island, a small chunk of land just offshore from the Wellfleet Bay. It had breathtaking views, a
few cottages, and a lot of natural marine life. Everything from little periwinkles and feisty crabs to delightful
birds enjoying their natural habitat.
The only way onto the island was by a small one car bridge which extended over the marshes. The marshes
could draw in even the most rigid of souls with their extravagant beauty. They were a natural hypnotizer.
When the tide was unusually high there would be no passing over the bridge until the sea decided to allow it.
One night after visiting friends we weren’t able to return to the mainland until the wee hours of the morning
because the bridge was flooded. The local residents had come to accept this force of nature and would
merely shrug their shoulders and wait it out. This was truly a bridge over troubled water.
Jesus is our bridge over troubled water. No wonder so many people still love that Simon and Garfunkel song
from 1969. It means a lot more to Christians than just a beautiful melody, for that bridge has rescued us
many times from drowning in many ways.
Bearing the name of Jesus is bearing the name of the God of all creation. It means living for Him to a point
where you consume his very words. When Jeremiah says he ate them, he likens them to a scrumptious meal
that is so delicious that you would gobble it up without hesitation. Forget the table manners. You can’t get
enough. God’s words make you happy, thrilled, excited, and most of all – faith filled.
With summertime comes the excitement of the boys of summer. Baseball. In the fall comes football. And we
have rock concerts, and Broadway plays, and symphonies which get us all excited. Politics and careers can
be exciting motivations. But real joy, the kind of Joy the apostle Paul exclaimed, can make your vacation
better, your relationships more loving, and your friendships deeper and more meaningful. Paul and Jeremiah
are just two men who came to know this joy. David, too, said that if we delight ourselves in the Lord that we
will receive the desires of our heart. In that process of delight and praise our desires surely would have
changed, matured, and our view line up with God’s desires for our best life.
Jeremiah came to realize that to devour God’s word, to digest its message,
is the beginning of real joy.