Many photos, clips and comments have brought a lot of memories and emotions forefront. I have seen many discussions as to whether we have forgotten and the directions our country has taken since that horrible day. I am not going to give an essay of where I was or what I was doing.
However, in the weeks that followed that time, many patriotic emails and essays were sent. I remember one that detailed the schedules of the many souls who were at the World Trade Center that morning. Every person just barely missed being at the tower due to either a missed bus, an illness or a doctor's appointment. The end of the email culminated in the thought that all these people were rescued from the horror of the attack due to God's goodness. God IS good! I especially think of how God used so many people to save others from death that day. John 15:13
I remember thinking....."But there were a lot of people who did not miss a bus. There were many souls who were not sick that day. Many individuals WERE caught on those floors and in the paths of the falling buildings. What about them?" I wanted to respond to some of these emails and share that of all the souls who were not there, let us not forget the ones who were there. God is STILL good. Regardless of the circumstances and the dark hours that ensued, God is good.
For many of those who lost their lives that day, many went home to be with God. Many may have called on God for the very first time and said, "Forgive me, Lord for my sins. I want Jesus in my heart and life right now." They may have died terrible deaths to be with Him, but they knew paradise that day. They just simply said to God, "Yes." Harder still to think of those who did not know Him or rejected Jesus even maybe as smoke filled their lungs. They might have cried out to their own god. Many did not go to home to be with God. As difficult as it is to face that fact, it's important to remember that there are so many lost souls still out there.
It is very fathom that even after all the attempts to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, many loved ones still to this very minute reject Jesus. The Christians who read this blog and who have experienced the same thing will understand. We just want to "lovingly throttle" these loved ones into sense. We cannot do that though. It is the Holy Spirit. God only asks us to be obedient. I attended a retreat this past weekend and our speaker pointed out that we often say to God, "You love them, I'll change them." God replies to us, "No, YOU love them and I WILL change them!". Come to think of it, He does both the loving and the changing which is far better than what we could ever do.
This same speaker also shared once that we need to pray for a wrecking ball for these people. That does not sound loving at first thought. Some people who are very resolute in their hostility to God and are pretty much in love with themselves do need a wrecking ball! I honestly wish I could share verbatim the whole teachings. I'll post her website at the end and if you are interested in purchasing her cd's, you can have that option. She pretty much shoots from the hip and the truth is unvarnished and unsentimental. There is nothing flowery with Margaret Ashmore and well, she is a Texan. Need I say more? :)
I am not giving up hope. As long as there is breath in their bodies (no matter if they are total strangers or familiar), there is hope. We will pray for them, pray for the wrecking balls and love them. I have been guilty of not speaking up and not sharing the Gospel. It is a terrible feeling and I wonder how many people who were downtown New York City wished they had shared the Gospel with their co-workers, their family members or their neighbors? Do not give up on sharing the Gospel. It may not be well-received maybe the first time or even the subsequent times but then again, how will you know until you try? At the place I volunteer, there are some who actually do accept the Lord. Sometimes it is with a grateful heart and a relief that they say, "I understand and thank you for taking time with me to explain it!" Sometimes they are so joyful and the Holy Spirit works through them and there are tears and repentance. Lives DO transform miraculously when they accept Him.
Some do initially reject as they are having way too much (perceived) fun in their lifestyles of sin, but there may come a time those words you shared with them may come right at the moment of their anguish. I remember one story of a college girl who was alone in her college dormitory bed one night. Her dad had shared the Gospel with her and he asked her, "What if you are wrong?" Those words rung in her ears as she tried desperately to sleep after many nights of ill-behavior. "What if you are wrong?" Is it worth experiencing an eternity of suffering? Is it worth being cheated out of perfect love by our Father in Heaven? Is it worth missing out not being forgiven, not having peace and joy and eternal life? I am so grateful to the ones who shared with me.....I can never go back to my old life.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”
I Was There