"For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24:21-22)
Throughout my life, I've always looked forward to Christmas and the feeling of love that fills the air like no other day in the calendar year. In contrast, I've never looked forward to Halloween. It's the one time of year that I've always associated with evil. However, after last year, I've come to associate another day with evil...9/11.
Like most people, I remember the events of that day like no other. I remember seeing tears strolling down a co-worker's face as I walked into work. I remember surfing the internet for hours, hoping against hope that it was only a nightmare. I remember worrying about family and friends on the east coast, and fearing for their safety. But what stands out most in my mind was the taste of the evil that surrounded that day. Even in a suburb of Minneapolis, a thousand miles away from the tragic events, I could taste evil in a way I never had before.
Unfortunately, the evil taste of that day is just a prelude of things to come. As the above verse illustrates so vividly, the end of the age will bring a terror like never before seen. But with that said, there still is hope. Christ didn't share this vision to frighten us to helplessness, but to spur us to diligence. As water extinguishes fire, so too does love conquer evil. Although evildoers may win a battle along the way, the war has already been won via the blood of Christ shed on the cross. Our challenge is to accept that sacrifice before it is too late.