A 9-11 Story

“All things work together for good for those who love the Lord who serve Him according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

My father also had more news for me; he was going to help. ‘This is not something I can just sit by for, I have to do something.’ I was concerned for his safety, of course, but more because he had never given his life to Christ. After a brief debate, I knew his mind was made up. Before he got off of the phone, he said, ‘take good care of my grandchild.’

Those were the last words I ever heard my father say; he died while helping in the rescue effort. My joy that my prayer of safety for my wife had been answered quickly became anger. Anger at God, at my father, and at myself. I had gone for nearly 2 years blaming God for taking my father away. My son would never know his grandfather, my father had never accepted Christ, and I never got to say good-bye. Then something happened.

About 2 months ago, I was sitting at home with my wife and my son, when there was a knock on the door. I looked at my wife, but I could tell she wasn’t expecting anyone. I opened the door to a couple with a small child. The man looked at me and asked if my father’s name was Jake Matthews. I told him it was. He quickly grabbed my hand and said, ‘I never got the chance to meet your father, but it is an honor to meet his son.’ He explained to me that his wife had worked in the World Trade Center and had been caught inside after the attack. She was pregnant and had been caught under debris. He then explained that my father had been the one to find his wife and free her. My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of my father giving his life for people like this. He then said, ‘There is something else you need to know.’ His wife then told me that as my father worked to free her, she talked to him and led him to Christ!

I began sobbing at the news. Now I know that when I get to heaven, my father will be standing beside Jesus to welcome me and that this family would be able to thank him themselves.” When their baby boy was born, they named him Jacob Matthew in honor of the man who gave his life so mother and baby could live.

This story should help us to realize two things: First, that though it has been two years since the attacks, we should never let it become a mere tragic memory. And second, but most important, God is always in control. We may not see the reason behind things, and we may never know this side of heaven, but God is ALWAYS in control.

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