Friday, June 07, 2019

The Bridge

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It was midnight, April 25.

Jacob Palmer, 27, was preparing to jump off the bridge into the water far below. He was hopeless. He didn't want to live.

Colin Dozier "just happened" to be driving by.

Do you believe in coincidences?

The bridge to death.

Twenty-seven-year-old Jacob had wasted his life on drugs---cocaine, meth, heroin---but on April 25th he had decided to end it all with suicide.

As he prepared to jump from the bridge in Virginia Beach, VA, Colin Dozier, who was driving by, noticed Palmer preparing to take his own life and immediately felt God leading him to stop and help.

He later told WTKR TV 3 News, "I just got called. That's the only explanation I can even make. God called me to go to the bridge."

He asked Palmer, "What's going on?" Palmer didn't respond---didn't even look at him.

Dozier alerted the police and began trying to engage Palmer, the drug addict, who was high on cocaine, meth, and heroin at the time. Palmer wasn't having any of it. He wanted to escape life, not be saved from death.

He began to act erratically and even threatened to kill Dozier if he didn't back off. He told Dozier, "I have a gun. Leave me alone. I'll shoot you."

As police arrived, Dozier continued talking to the man, telling him not to do it---to no avail.

Dozier prayed quietly, asking the Lord to help him save this man from suicide. A Scripture came to mind so he shared it with the suicidal man:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

Palmer listened but continued to contemplate ending his own life. So, with prayerful consideration, Dozier began to edge closer to Palmer, coinciding his subtle movements with each time that Palmer closed his eyes and heaved in another deep breath. Then, as he neared the man, Dozier realized he could call on his years as a wrestling champion to save Jacob's life.

Dozier waited for the right moment.

In a flash, Dozier tackled Palmer and dragged him back from the ledge. "I knew I only had one chance to do it and do it right," he told Fox News.

The bridge to life.

After Palmer was subdued and calmed down, Dozier talked with him. He told his new friend why he had done this---He told him about Jesus Christ.

Dozier contacted his pastor at Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, then connected with a group of about 110 men from the church who were on a retreat. He explained what had happened and asked them to pray for Jacob.

Palmer was taken to a rehabilitation clinic. The following Sunday Dozier was able to meet with Palmer at the clinic. They carefully went over the good news of the gospel.

Jacob told Colin, "The love you shared with me that night---you didn't even know me---I want that."

That day Jacob accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.

The man who had taken drugs for the past 10 years has accepted Jesus Christ, been baptized as the Bible instructs us to do, and has been drug-free and sober for a little more than 4 weeks.

Jacob is now attending church with Colin and connecting with other Christians. Colin is being his friend and his mentor.

This Sunday they will be sitting together in the worship service at Trinity Church.

The City of Virginia Beach, of course, became aware of this story. They have gifted Colin with the prestigious "Life Saving Award."

Indeed, it was a life saving event.

Colin is pretty upfront--he doesn't see himself as a bonafide hero, he simply feels that God tasked him with a specific mission that day---"to save the life of a despairing man."

"Out of all people," Colin says, "God put me there at the right place and the right time."

A bridge to death, became a bridge to life.

Colin's pastor says,
"I think the whole story points to the fact that when the spirit talks to us and we obey, supernatural things happen. That Colin is a former state wrestling champion that just happened to be driving that night...we don't see that as coincidence, we see that as the God of the universe at work."

Scripture teaches that the steps of the righteous are ordered of the Lord.

God has a plan. It doesn't include "coincidences."

God has a plan for you. It doesn't include "coincidences."

Be Alert. Be Faithful. Be Bold. Be Blessed.