«For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable» (Romans 11:29).
IN 1988, an earthquake of 6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale devastated Armenia in less than four minutes. In the midst of the destruction and chaos, a father ran to the school where he hoped to find his son. When he arrived, he discovered that the building had been flattened. In tears, he recalled the promise he had made to his son: «Whatever happens, I will always be with you to help you.»
And it was there, right where his son’s classroom had been, where he began his rescue work Other parents, firefighters, and policemen, all with good intentions, wanted to dissuade him: «It’s too late, it’s not worth it to put so much effort.»
But he cried out, «Are you going to help me or not?» and kept digging out stone after stone, brick after brick. His energy was running out and his hands were bleeding. He spent eight hours digging. Twelve. Twenty-four. Thirty-six. And when he had already been digging for thirty-eight hours, as he removed a large piece of stone, he heard his son’s voice and called him with all his might: «Armand!»
With emotion surging through his tired body, he heard his son’s voice. He was weak, but safe: «Dad, I told the other kids not to worry, that you would save us. You promised me that whatever happened, you would always be with me.» Fourteen of the thirty-three students were there. They were afraid, hungry, and thirsty, but glad he had come for them! When the building collapsed, a wedge was formed, which created an air chamber that saved their lives.
How many lie under the rubble of sin, almost out of oxygen, with no chance of getting out on their own! How many need a rescue team that acts urgently, with perseverance and sacrifice!
We are the only opportunity for many.
Our Father, with a bleeding heart, cries out and says to us,
«Are you going to help Me or not?»
Paul shows us in today’s verse that God’s sovereign choice for Israel, as well as for all believers of all times, is immutable because it is the manifestation of His character of mercy expressed in the search, the rescue, and the restoration of the sinner. We are collaborators with God (see 1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 6:9). Like Jesus, we must «seek and save that which was lost» (Luke 19:10).
All our energies, dreams, and priorities must be directed to the work of saving the souls for whom Christ died, because «the highest of all sciences is the science of soul saving. The greatest work to which human beings can aspire is the work of winning men from sin to holiness» (The Ministry of Healing, p. 398). May our answer be as irrevocable as His love.