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‘I’ll always be there for you!’

June 20, 2012
By Pastor Roger Lemke - Special to The Eagle , Pine Island Eagle

A fascinating story comes from the 1989 earthquake, which almost flattened Armenia. This deadly tremor killed over 30,000 people in less than four minutes.

In the midst of all the confusion of the earthquake, a father rushed to his son''s school and discovered the building was flat as a pancake.

Standing there looking at what was left of the school, the father remembered a promise he made to his son: "No matter what, I'll always be there for you!" Tears began to fill his eyes. It looked like a hopeless situation, but he could not take his mind off his promise.

Remembering that his son's classroom was in the back right corner of the building, the father rushed there and started digging through the rubble. As he was digging other grieving parents arrived, clutching their hearts, saying: "My son!" "My daughter!" They tried to pull him off of what was left of the school saying: "It's too late!" "They're dead!" "You can't help!" "Go home!" Even a police officer and a firefighter told him he should go home. To everyone who tried to stop him he said: "Are you going to help me now?" They did not answer him and he continued digging for his son stone by stone.

He needed to know for himself: "Is my boy alive or is he dead?" This man dug for eight hours and then 12 and then 24 and then 36. Finally in the 38th hour, as he pulled back a boulder, he heard his son's voice. He screamed his son's name: "ARMAND!" And a voice answered him, "Dad?" "It's me Dad!" Then the boy added these priceless words, "I told the other kids not to worry. I told them that if you were alive, you'd save me and when you saved me, they'd be saved. You promised that, Dad. 'No matter what,' you said, 'I'll always be there for you!' And here you are Dad. You kept your promise!"

In like manner "God our Father has been our protector and redeemer since ancient times" (Is. 63:16), and "He kept His promise to send a Savior for His people" (Acts 13:23) and "to never leave us nor forsake us" (Hebs. 13:5).



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