20 Years and Counting
It’s been twenty years today. Twenty years and counting
It’s so long ago, yet it’s not. It’s like yesterday, or like last week or like last fall.
But not twenty years ago today!
But it’s really been twenty years and twenty years and counting
The pile, the horrible stench, the fear, the tears, the funerals, the bagpipes, the reading of the names
They are all etched in our minds like a bad stain, they can become faded with time but they will never be wiped away
But more importantly we still see the faces
The dad, the mom, the son or daughter the Firefighter, the Cop, the EMS worker
We still see them, we still weep for them, they are still precious to us.
Though it’s been twenty years, twenty years and counting.
Our nation lost some good people that day at the Pentagon and at Shanksville and at The Towers
2977 souls that day. Over 1500 souls since then.
Our City lost some good people that day as well.
Officemates who walked down the stairs of the North Tower together but didn’t quite make it
Strangers who grabbed each others hands and jumped into eternity
Volunteers giving their all to save a few, some not saving themselves
We all lost some great people that day, some heroes
People who lived out the words of Jesus who said “Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”
Heroes who would rather lose their life than to let someone else, even a stranger, lose theirs or lose theirs alone
343 firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, 8 EMS workers
So many lost some very special people that day. We know them all by their names
They went by Daddy, Mommy, Grandpop, Grandma, Uncle, Auntie, Sis, Brother, Son, Daughter, Neighbor, Friend, New Yorker. They were all irreplaceable yet they are gone.
It still stings to think about them. It’s been twenty years, twenty years and counting.
And with the time the wounds heal but never completely. How can they?
The wound runs too deep. It has left a near eternal scar on our hearts
20 years later an aging parent still says, “I lost my boy”
20 years later a group of retirees in Florida say it would be great if only Jack or Janet were here
20 years later a pregnant daughter says at her shower, “I wish my mom were here”
20 years later a Yankee fan on their couch says, “I miss my Pop Pop”
20 years later a bride on her big day wishes for the steady arms of her dad to walk her down that aisle
Yes, it is hard to believe it’s been 20 years, 20 years and counting
So today we gather. We look together for hope
The Good Book says there is a time for every purpose under heaven. There is a time to laugh and a time to cry and a time to mourn and a time to rejoice and a time to embrace…..so we do that now.
It also says that “He makes everything beautiful in His time”. That is the day we look forward to. When God himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more crying or dying because the former things will have passed away. That is the day we are longing for when there will be a great reunion in the sky.
Until then we look back and remember, remember as we should…. 20 years, 20 years and counting until the day He makes us whole.
Pastor Dave Watson – Senior Pastor- Calvary Chapel
Opening Verse – Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
God says “no” – The request is not in accord with His will
2 Corinthians 12:7–9 – So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
God says “slow” – The request is right but the timing is wrong
Psalm 37:7 – Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Isaiah 55:8–9 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God says “grow” – The request is right but you are not right
I may have an impure heart – Psalm 66:18 – If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
I may have inactive knees – James 4:2 – You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
I may have improper motives – James 4:3 – You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
I may have insufficient faith – James 1:5–6 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
I may have an insensitive spirit – Proverbs 21:13 – Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
I may have irreconcilable differences – Matthew 5:23–24 – So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
God says “go” – The request is right, the timing is right and I’m right
1 John 5:14–15 – And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.