Monday, November 21, 2016
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I was watching on TV an anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, and my mind raced back to this unforgettable personal visit I had to the site of what was a very deadly tragedy. In a pre-September 11th America, that terrorist bombing of a Federal Office Building left most Americans in like stunned disbelief; at least it did me. My guide for my visit to the memorial made it really special and very moving, because he's a state trooper. He was one of the rescuers that day. His recollections of the joy of rescues and the heartbreak of lives lost I'm not going to ever forget.
Of course, all the traces of that bombed-out building are gone now. The site is now a beautiful lawn with a stone chair for each of the victims. What was the street that day is now a reflection pond. Nothing remains there from the day the world stopped at 9:02 A. M. – nothing, that is, except the tree. On an embankment across from what was the building site stands a big old tree, still partially blackened by the bomb blast. We stood there, my rescuer friend and I, and we prayed beneath those branches that somehow had endured the blast. They call it The Survivor Tree.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Survive When Everything's Coming Down."
One indestructible tree – that's all that survived the most powerful blast that city had ever known.
For 2000 years, men and women who are reeling from blasts that seem to have blown apart everything in their lives, have made it – because of one indestructible tree. The Survivor Tree; the one the Bible talks about when it says that Jesus Christ "bore our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). That tree is, of course, the cross where the greatest act of love in human history took place – the one and only Son of God dying in our place, paying for our sins so we would never have to. In that cross – in the unspeakable love that it makes available – so many have found the one life-anchor that nothing can take from them.
Every one of us has seasons in our life when a massive blast suddenly rips through everything around us. You could be in one of those seasons right now. Maybe you've been betrayed by a love you thought would always be there, your parent's marriage is coming apart, or you've lost someone who has been an anchor in your life. Sometimes we are victims of the destruction that comes from our own bad choices, which leaves you devastated by the shame of what you've done. Or it may not be what you've done. It may be the wrongs that have been done against you. The blast that changes everything can be a financial one or a medical one when a doctor's diagnosis hits like a bomb.
It is in those moments that we look for something to hold onto, something that can withstand what has rocked our life. And it is in moments like these that many of us have finally run to The Survivor Tree – the cross where Jesus died for us, where we can experience the "never leave you" love of Almighty God. That's the day you discover the miracle that's described in our word for today from the Word of God in Ephesians 2:13-14, "You who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace."
That peace is within your reach this very day; maybe at a time when peace seems so impossible because of what you've lost. It may be that very loss will finally bring you to the one love you'll never lose. Jesus stands right now with arms wide open, waiting to forgive every sin of your life, to transform your dark side, and to heal what's broken inside you as only He can. He's waiting only for you to tell Him that you're turning from the sin that put Him on that cross and that you're putting all your trust in Him.
Tell Him today, "Jesus, I'm yours." I would love to give you information that will help you secure your new beginning with Jesus Christ. And it's at our website ANewStory.com where your new story could begin today. Would you go there?
Take your stand by the tree – by the cross – that nothing has ever blown away. You are one heartfelt prayer away from having in your heart the indestructible love of Almighty God.