Summary: God can heal any wound. This is the story of a firefighter that I met that was trapped in the ruble of 9/11.
Hope does not come without suffering.
Romans 5:3,4 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
In this verse we see in order how hope is found. First something in our life God allows that causes us some suffering. That suffering can come in many forms to complete God’s perfect plan. In order to get through suffering you need to learn to persevere not in your strength but finally persevere in the Lords strength. That may take many, many lessons and years to learn but God is patient with you. You cannot go through a long period of suffering without developing character. Character refines us by taking away the glitter and false hope of this world and leaves our emotions bare. Suffering shows us for who we really are. That can be very scary but it is necessary for us to move on in the Lord when we can see who we are and not the “person” we have created in our own minds to impress people. These are two different people. Suffering if you allow God to work in your life will destroy the fake and bring out the true you. Then if you have allowed God to be your God, you have prayed and seen Him bring you out of the darkness into the light, then you finally have the hope of the Lord in your heart.
The hope of the world is a false charade. The hope in Jesus will never puff you up or let you down. It is only by suffering that our faith is refined and our hope is set on the right person.
Thank you for everyone praying for me yesterday as I gave the opening prayer at Charlotte Motor Speedway to Honor 9/11 and their annual blood drive. It was such a moving experience that I broke down about 45 minutes before it started when other performers were signing. I had a friend take me up on top of the Speedway to look down on all the flags that had been put there to Honor the lives lost of the first responders. Then I realized that each flag represented more than one person. Each flag represented an entire family and friends that were affected by one person’s loss. Somehow the music stirred my soul and then I had to get away to a quiet place so I could calm down. Then I met him.
I met this man in a Fireman’s’ uniform with a New York accent. The Speedway had flown in three men who had been First Responders that day 10 years ago. This man gave me a chilling account of his day. His firehouse was only a couple blocks from the World Trade Center. When the first plane hit they went immediately. They were told to stay in the lobby as the first fireman was killed by someone jumping from the upper floors. Then they could hear it. They could hear many, many more jumping and breaking the plexiglas that connected the two buildings. Then the second plane hit and “All hell broke lose”. That saying couldn't be more appropriate for the day. If the day had been cloudy with fog the attacks would have never happened. But that day you could see for 100 miles. It was the perfect day to carry out a plan of evil.