Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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A friend called that morning and said, "Ron, you should turn on the TV. An airplane just hit one of the World Trade Center towers." There was no file folder in my heart for what I was about to see. I quickly found a news channel. From that moment on, I didn't turn it off.

My wife and I were in Manhattan, in that area not long ago, and we were friends with a lot of people who worked in Manhattan. We had been occasional visitors to the observation deck atop the Trade Center. We watched one horrific event after another unfold before our eyes that day. And when the towers collapsed in that killer cloud of dust, we couldn't contain the tears. Neither could the TV reporters who, for those gut-wrenching moments, lost their journalist's detachment and they melted with all of us. Stunned, shock, disbelief.

And I prayed. I was groping for what to pray, but I poured out my heart to God, and suddenly I found myself praying, "O Lord, would You please help me see this through Your eyes? What are You seeing in this tragedy that's just too big for our hearts to handle?" In the hours that followed, I believe He answered my prayer. And what I saw - beyond the unspeakable events that raked our souls - has stuck with me for over a decade. Every year, watching those deeply moving remembrances of the events at "Ground Zero," the echoes reverberate again in my heart. "Make every day count with the people you love."

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I'd like to have A Word With You today about "Watching the Towers Fall."

All those heart-rending cell phone calls from hijacked planes and burning buildings were pretty much about one thing - "I love you." Who can know now that this day might be our last day to be sure people we know love them. It's not good enough to just leave our dear ones on an "I love you until further notice" basis.

Each of them needs to know it, and to feel it today. The psalmist said, "Teach us to number our days aright" (Psalm 90:1). Live and love like today is all you've got, because some day it will be.

Ask the "make a difference" question. A lot of folks did after they saw so many lives end so suddenly before our eyes. "Am I just making a living or am I really making a difference?" People changed careers; they changed their life plans in light of the powerful wake-up call of September 11.

With our life and the lives around us so very fragile, it's good to stop and weigh the most significant use of this one short life. The God who created us as "His workmanship," it says, "for good works He prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10). He doesn't want us settling for less than our destiny. This time of remembering is also the time to be reflecting on the changes needed to make the greatest possible difference with the rest of our life.

Life's real heroes are the rescuers. In the days that followed September 11, sports stars and paparazzi-ed celebrities were saying, "Don't call us heroes. Heroes are those guys who went into the flames and the rubble to save lives." All over the country, America honored and continues to honor our first responders - those who disregard their fears, forget about themselves to give someone a chance to live. Those are the kind of heroes, by the way, that heaven honors, too.

Now, our word for today from the Word of God, Proverbs 24:11 says that a hero like that sees and understands that their friends and loved ones who've never met their Jesus are "staggering toward slaughter" and "being led away to death." God has one unmistakable command: "Rescue them." Tell them what you know about what Jesus did on the cross for them. Give them a chance to live - forever.

Be ready for eternity whenever it comes. More than anything, I think that's what screamed - and still screams - to me from the rubble of Ground Zero. We just can't count on tomorrow. That's why the Bible says, "Prepare to meet your God" (Amos 6:1).

See, He's not a Savior you "get around to someday"; not when we live one heartbeat from eternity. Not when the only way to be ready to meet a holy God is to have every sin of your life erased by the only One who can, and that's Jesus; the only One who did all the dying for all your sin. So the Bible says, "whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

If you don't belong to Him, don't count on another day. Tell Him today, "Jesus, I'm yours." There's no greater peace, no greater security than to know for sure that you are ready for eternity whenever it comes.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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