Bridge Over Trouble Water spent six weeks as the number one song in America, sweeping the Grammy Awards in 1971. The inspiration behind this Simon and Garfunkel classic are connected to Elvis Presley. A member of the Swam Silvertones, Reverend Jeter became good friends with Paul Simon providing biblical imagery. Meanwhile, a song from the Everly Brothers album “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us” influenced the lyrics which formed Bridge Over Trouble Water.
When evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 and they got into a boat and started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It was already dark, and Jesus had still not come [back] to them. 18 The sea was getting rough and rising high because a strong wind was blowing. 19 Then, when they had rowed three or four miles [and were near the center of the sea], they saw Jesus walking on the sea and approaching the boat; and they were [terribly] frightened, John 6:16-19.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have a physical bridge to cross when storms stir up troubled waters. Some people get caught by an unexpected squall, holding on for dear life until this weather system dissipates. Meanwhile, those on shore try to survive hurricane force winds that create a tidal surge, causing the ocean to overtake land. Those residents who endured Hurricane Florence and Michael now understand the concept of troubled waters.
Peter replied to Him, “Lord, if it is [really] You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 He said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” – Matthew 14:28-30
On two different occasions, Jesus was with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee. During a gale which engulfed their boat, Jesus was asleep, likely testing these men to see how they would respond. After waking up Jesus, these men acted like little boys who expected to die at sea. The other encounter reveals Jesus walking on water, approaching the disciples boat at night. Initially, fog made Jesus look like a ghost until Peter volunteered to join Jesus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, 2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work], Hebrews 12:1-2.
From a spiritual point of view, Jesus serves as an invisible bridge. The only way to access this structure is by faith. As soon as Peter got out of his boat, he actually walked on water. Yet, the moment Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. When individuals focus their attention on the storms surrounding them, most sink like Peter. However, when you fix your eyes on Jesus, faith offers you a bridge to walk over troubled waters.
by Jay Mankus