"How Does the Story End?"
November 2, 2013
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5
How far would you go? What would you be willing to do to save somebody's life?
In 1989 over 30,000 people died in an earthquake, which hit Armenia. One father raced to his boy's school and found it had been leveled. Uncertain of what he should do, he stood there. He stood until he remembered a promise he had made: "Son, no matter what, I'll always be there for you."
The father started digging at the place where his son's classroom had been. Soon other parents arrived. They were also shocked by what they saw, and they sympathized with the man. Still, they needed to be practical. They said common sense things like, "Don't do this to yourself. There's no hope. Try to help where you can make a difference."
Without stopping, the father asked: "Are you going to help me now?"
What would you have replied? I can tell you the other parents left and the man kept digging alone.
A policeman came by and warned, "What will happen if you keep digging and the rubble caves in? You'll be caught and then somebody will have to rescue you. Go on home. We can take care of this."
The head of the fire department arrived. He said, "Trapped gas is causing explosions and fires all over. You're risking your life and those of others. Let the professionals do what they've been trained to do. Go home."
The father asked them both, "Are you going to help me now?" He ended up digging alone.
What would you have done? If you had stayed to help, how long would you have stayed? The father dug for eight hours. Would you have still been there, by his side? Twelve hours of steady scraping by hand went by. Would you have been there then? Twenty-four hours and the entire day had gone by. The father dug alone.
In the 38th hour, the father moved a large stone and heard his son's voice. "Dad, it's me! I told the other kids not to worry. I told 'em if you were alive, you'd save me and when you saved me, you'd save them. You promised, 'No matter what, I'll always be there for you!' You did it, Dad!"
The father shouted down, "How are you? How is it?"
The son told him, "There are 14 of us left out of 33, Dad. We're scared, hungry, thirsty and glad you're here."
"Come on out, boy!" the father called down.
"No, Dad! Let the other kids out first, I know you'll get me! No matter what, I know you'll be there for me!" All 14 of the children came out. With bleeding hands, the father hugged each of them.
How far would you go to save someone's life?
I admire this man from Armenia. Still, if it had not been his child do you think he would have kept digging?
I don't know.
I do know thousands of years ago the Lord made a promise to save His sinful children. It took a long time for that to take place, but God kept His promise in the Person of His Son. For 33 years Jesus did all which needed to be done so we can be saved. He lived, He died, He rose, and sent His Holy Spirit. Now that same Spirit of God searches for the lost. He doesn't give up ... but He asks, "Are you going to help?"
Only you can say how the story will end.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have rescued me. Now may I do all I can to help in the rescue of others. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries