Stainforth Bridge

I visited Stainforth Bridge yesterday. It was built in 1675 by a wealthy local Quaker and the road it bears is called Dog Hill Brow, connecting Clapham to Malham. It is fair to say that it is not a wide bridge; my host’s Volvo barely crossed its girth without scratching its sides or removing a mirror. It was built for packhorse travel, not modern automobiles, but it does its job well enough; the River Ribble is crossed without getting wet one's feet. It is narrow, but it works.

The Lord Jesus declared in Matthew 7:14:

Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (NKJV)

The road to destruction is broad and commodious, the road to life narrow and rough. The Christian journey is sometimes a squeeze, ofttimes up-hill but always well supported, by human fellowship and divine agency. Do not marvel that others do not take the narrow way, but be thankful God opened your eyes to see it and shall meet you on the other side. 

From Egypt lately freed,
By the Redeemer’s grace,
A rough and thorny path we tread,
In hopes to see his face.

The flesh dislikes the way,
But faith approves it well;
This only leads to endless day
All others lead to hell.

The promised land of peace,
Faith keeps in constant view;
How different from the wilderness
We now are passing through!

Here often from our eyes
Clouds hide the light divine;
There we shall have unclouded skies,
Our Sun will always shine.

Here griefs, and cares, and pains,
And fears distress us sore;
Bur there eternal pleasure reigns,
And we shall weep no more.

Lord, pardon our complaints;
We follow at thy call;
The joy prepared for suffering saints,
Will make amends for all.

-John Newton