Summary: Ten years ago today I think we would all agree that the events that happened on Sept. 11 marked us as a nation and individuals for a lifetime.

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An Unexpected Hero


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Ten years ago today I think we would all agree that the events that happened on Sept. 11 marked us as a nation and individuals for a lifetime.

Every American alive that day will forever remember the sadness, suspense and fear that reigned after the attack on America.

Each of us will also remember the sense of unity and solidarity we felt as a nation.

But none of us will ever forget the lessons we saw so vividly played out on our television screens that day and in the days to follow.

The lessons we remember are…

*That life changing events can bring out the best in people.

*That when America is put in a crises situation…many people step up to the challenge.

*And we also learned that heroism is a gift that each person holds deep in their hearts.

Heroism is a decision that is made by ordinary people when they find themselves placed in unexpected situations.

One of the unexpected heroes of 911 was a 32 year old salesman named Todd Beamer, the determined Christian on flight 93.

Todd was the man who called up the GTE operator to find out what was happening.

After realizing the importance of the situation… he prayed the Lord’s Prayer with the operator over the phone, then he said three more words, “Jesus, help me,”

Then he and dozens of other heroes went to their deaths while stopping terrorists from harming our nation’s capital by downing their plane in a Pennsylvania cornfield.

Todd Beamer left behind two children, a pregnant wife, and a nation full of grateful admirers.

Miles away in New York City scores of fire and policemen were becoming voluntary heroes in an effort to save people inside the World Trade Center buildings.

Among thousands of others…Twelve firemen from the Park Slope fire station in Brooklyn were lost that day.

One of them was named David Fontana, a 10 year veteran of the department. His 8th wedding anniversary fell on Sept. 11.

Dave had worked all night at the station and just phoned his wife to let her know he’d be home in a few minutes when the five alarm fire call came in.

After the twin towers came down that morning…A colleague of his, Sean Cummins, dug at the Ground Zero site for three straight weeks, “hoping to find Dave’s body, his helmet or scrap of his uniform…Anything so Marian Fontana (his wife) would have something to remember her husband by.”

I think most of us would agree that Dave Fontana is a hero, and that Sean Cummins the colleague is a hero in his own right as well.

Since 9-11… I have found myself wondering from time to time, “What is it that makes someone become a hero?”

And, “If I was put a similar situation, how would I respond?”

As I thought about this it occurred to me that we all are sitting on top of a treasure chest of heroic stories available to us every time we open up God’s word.

Maybe one of the most interesting discoveries I made early in my relationship with Christ was that not one of the people I read about in the Bible ever really expected to become a hero.

None of them woke up one day and said, “I think I’ll do something amazing today so I can become a hero...”

They were just ordinary people facing the circumstances life dealt to them.

Due to this…I have come to the conclusion that it is God that qualifies a person to become a hero.

The only difference between a hero and a common person is the choice they make with the circumstances that are placed in front of them.

Open your Bibles with me today to Isaiah Chapter 6 and well learn a little about an unexpected hero…


Read Isaiah 6:1-13

Isaiah was a young man who grew up in downtown Jerusalem.

From the time of his birth to his teenage years there had only been one ruler in his country… one king… who was known throughout the land as a good ruler.

This king that Isaiah grew up under was named, “Uzziah,” and history records that he reigned in Israel for 51 years.

By the time Isaiah became a teenager, Uzziah realized that his life would soon be coming to an end.

As with any change of leadership…the talk had begun circulating around the land that Uzziah might not be around too much longer.

So rumors quickly began to spread about Uzziah’s failing health, and …the people started to become nervous.

So the peoples worry wheel begins to spin…what were they going to do when Uzziah died and a younger…less experienced king named Isaiah was placed on the throne?

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