Margarida F. Sarli works at the Ministerial Association as researcher and assistant at Shepherdess International.

Story No. 1
Bridge collapses

Lesson: Psalm 56:11.

Morale was low among the workmen on the 2,590 meter West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, Australia. Word got around that a similar bridge had collapsed in Great Britain. 

"This bridge isn't safe," the men grumbled. Jack Hindshaw, the engineer in charge of construction, called the men together to explain why the bridge in Great Britain had collapsed. "That will not happen here," he promised them. "If I didn't think it was safe I wouldn't be working here."

Not long after, on the morning of October 15, 1970, Jack Hindshaw received an urgent message: "There is trouble. Come to the bridge at once."

Hindshaw arrived within half an hour to find that the bridge had buckled in one section. The men were doing their best to find a way to correct it.

Suddenly there was a terrible wrenching of metal and a whole section of the bridge crumbled and fell to the river below. Thirty-five of the sixtyeight workers were killed. Among them was engineer Jack Hindshaw.

Mr. Hindshaw believed in his project. He had faith in the work of his company. He was sure the span would remain secure. But his faith was wrongly placed, and he fell with the bridge to his death.

It is possible for us to do the same in the spiritual realm. Some people put their trust in money and others in their own abilities. Too many place their faith in a particular person. They honor him so much that should he fall they will fall with him. Others put their trust in a church. They feel that as long as their names are recorded they will be safe. They think that because the church has been around for centuries it will not let them down. 

Someday they might be surprised.

It is not wise to put our faith in a person or in a system of beliefs. The Bible says that if we do we will be disappointed. There is only one sure support on which we can rely and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will not fail us. We can count on Him. In Him we will be safe.

Story No. 2
Fulton's folly

"Fulton's folly" is what someone called it. The thing was described by one writer as "an ungainly craft looking precisely like a backwoods sawmill mounted on a scow and set on fire." The Clermont was actually a steamboat, one of the first in the United States.

August 1 7, 1807, was the date scheduled for the ship's public trial. A large crowd gathered on the banks of the Hudson River to see if it would work.

"I'll bet you anything it won't go!" said one.

"What a lot of noise it makes!" said another.

"To say nothing of all that fire, steam, and smoke."

"She'll never make it!"

Robert Fulton ignored their comments and made ready to prove that the ship would work.

Slowly the boat began to move away from the wharf. It headed toward the center of the river where it made a clean-cut turn upstream and was on its way. A shout went up from the spectators.

"There she goes!"

"It works!"

"Look at her pass the other boats!"

At the amazing speed of about five miles an hour the Clermont steamed up the river to Albany and back in thirty-two hours. The news that the ship really worked spread all over New York, and soon there were plenty of passengers and freight to keep it busy.

The attitude of those spectators on August 1 7, 1807, is still around in 2005. People look at Christianity and say, "It will never work. It is not possible to live by the ideals of the Bible." Jesus Christ came into this world to prove that it does work. He came to demonstrate the reality of the things He taught.

Jesus was once a child. He became a teenager and faced the same problems you face. By His life He proved that it is possible for a young person to grow up in a wicked world and yet not sin. He had no resources you do not have. He demonstrated what you can become through His grace and power.

From the files of Elder's Guide

Margarida F. Sarli compiled the information for this article and she works in the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventhday Adventists.

Margarida F. Sarli works at the Ministerial Association as researcher and assistant at Shepherdess International.