Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water


In 1969, Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was a song for millions. That era saw America in turmoil; social unrest, war protests, and fear in the land. The Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King had been assassinated, the Cold War threatened nuclear annihilation.  And then came this folk anthem about making one’s way through the mess:
When you’re weary, feeling small;
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all.
I’m on your side – When times get rough,
And friends just can’t be found;
Like a bridge over troubled water,
I will lay me down. – Paul Simon, copyright, 1969

Interestingly, here I am a half century older and the world is still a mess!  As a 14 year old kid, I needed a friend.  As an older man, I need a friend. Friends stand with us, pour concern over us, offer words that help us to see the hope of a new day.  The balladeers got it right. A friend is a bridge over troubled water! Where do we go when troubles come that no song can soothe, that are not erased by calming words of concern?  We have the Friend of friends. His Name is Jesus!  In Him there is wisdom because He holds all of ‘yesterday, today, and tomorrow’ in His plans for me. Peter, who had walked on some troubled water, invites you and me to “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV)

“Cast” is an action world in the original Greek text of the New Testament. It only appears twice and has the meaning of ‘throwing something down violently!’  Those burdens of life, those intractable problems, those fears and yes, even our failures – all the things that bring us care – we can throw them onto the shoulders of an Almighty God who is not only Lord but Friend! Peter, the impulsive disciple whose faith was expressed in fits and starts, was riding in a small boat on the lake when Jesus came walking on the water. When Jesus invited Peter to walk on water, he did!  Only then did he take note of the impossibility of his situation. When he saw the waves, he sank, saved only by his Friend’s grasp. He followed Jesus on the night of His arrest showing more courage than all except John, but then his courage collapsed and he swore, “I never knew Him.” But, his Friend found him, broken and disillusioned back home. With tender forgiveness, He reached out to Peter and sent him out to “Feed my sheep!”  When the Holy Spirit filled him, he fearlessly preached on the streets of Jerusalem and led the disciples through the first decade of Christianity.


That man, who knew trouble and the power of a Friend, uses the action language innate to his personality. “Weighed down by concern, troubled by life? Throw it on the Lord! He is ready to care for you.”

Jesus warned us that “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.” But, that is not the last word.  “But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” (John 16:33, The Message)  We have a Friend who is undaunted by the things that can get us down. People will disappoint and frustrate you. Disasters will come – fire, flood, and sickness – and we will not understand why.  In such moments we have the invitation, the words of Jesus, our Friend, that are our Word for this day.  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV)

Right now… take that heavy thing that is breaking your heart in your grasp. Got it?
Now, with a toss heavenward say, “Here it is. Thank you for helping me carry it, Lord. Amen.”
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

Are we weak and heavy laden
Cumbered with a load of care
Precious Savior still our refuge
Take it to the Lord in prayer

Do thy friends despise forsake thee
Take it to the Lord in prayer
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee
Thou wilt find a solace there

Charles Crozat Converse | Joseph Medlicott Scriven

© Words: Public Domain

Published by Jerry Scott

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a Dad to Jay, Sean, Christine, and Maribel. I am a Pastor at Faith Discovery Church. Jerry D. Scott

One thought on “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water

  1. Threw my cares upon Him. Same as yesterday day before, last week but I DO remember What a friend We have inJesus. Amen!

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