Summary: Amazingly the world, entirely, or for an individual, can change dramatically in an incredibly short time. Although this is often hard for us, it’s going to happen again and we look forward to that time.

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It Doesn’t Take Long to Change the World

Easter 2003

It doesn’t take long to change the world in very dramatic ways. “The 1989 Armenian earthquake needed only four minutes to flatten the nation and kill thirty thousand people. Moments after that deadly tremor ceased, a father raced to an elementary school to save his son. When he arrived, he saw that the building had been leveled. Looking at the mass of stones and rubble, he remembered a promise he had made to his child: “No matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you.” Driven by his own promise, he found the area closest to his son’s room and began to pull back the rocks. Other parents arrived and began sobbing for their children. “It’s too late,” they told the man. “You know they are dead. You can’t help.” Even a police officer encouraged him to give up.

But the father refused. For eight hours, then sixteen, then thirty-two, thirty-six hours he dug. His hands were raw and his energy gone, but he refused to quit. Finally, after thirty-eight wrenching hours, he pulled back a boulder and heard his son’s voice. He called his boy’s name, “Arman! Arman!” And a voice answered him, “Dad, it’s me!” Then the boy added these priceless words, “I told the other kids not to worry. I told them if you were alive, you’d save me, and when you saved me, they’d be saved, too. Because you promised, ‘No matter what, I’ll always be there for you.’””

In 1994, a son received a call from his father across the country. “Your mother isn’t doing very well; you’d better come.” She had gone to hospital for surgery- fairly routine surgery- a week after Mother’s Day. She had responded fine, at the start and had seemed to be recovering. But, then….and a son flew across the country, hoping to be there while she was still alive and did make it, and was able to spend three days there before she died. It doesn’t take long to change the world.

Just a little under four weeks ago, a daughter got a call from her mother. “Your father isn’t doing very well.” He had gone to hospital on Friday, for treatment, but something went terribly wrong that Sunday morning. So, then…a daughter raced six hundred miles, hoping to be there with her Dad and to see his improvement and did, but then things went poorly and he died. It doesn’t take long to change the world.

The father, the son, and the daughter all lived in hope, though. Especially, the son and the daughter live in the hope of what God has said to us, just like that father in Armenia said to his son. “I will come back,” he assures us. Rocks may tumble and ground may shake. Our world- in big and in small- may change and seem to come apart. But, as children of God, we do not need to fear- the Father has promised to take us to be with him.

How can we know he’ll do what he said? Maybe you’re not so sure? Maybe this promise is too good to be true, for you.

Let’s think, though, about what happened. Today we celebrate. But what happened that we celebrate? And what happened that gives us that wonderful spiritual gift of hope?

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