Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:7-8).One of the newest additions to the U.S. Naval fleet launched out on its maiden voyage two weeks ago. The U.S.S. New York, an amphibious transport dock ship, left Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's yard in southeastern Louisiana for its official commissioning in New York in November.
While new naval vessels are built and commissioned on a regular basis, this one is different. What sets the U.S.S. New York apart is that 8 tons of steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers was used in its construction. The ship was named to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks of eight years ago.
Following the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, about all that remained was mangled and twisted piles of structural steel. Those piles of misshapen metal became a symbol of weakness and vulnerability for our nation.
But now some of that same metal, re-forged and re-formed, becomes a symbol of strength and preparedness. Something useless became something useful. A painful reminder became a motivation for renewed effort.
It is possible that each of us may face times of devastation in our own lives -- times with the potential to leave us standing standing among the twisted wreckage, staring at smoldering piles that once were our personal hoped and dreams.
When such times come, we have a choice to make. We can allow the wreckage of life to become a monument that forever haunts us and reminds us of our defeats and failures or we can take remnants of the wreckage, re-forge them in the furnace of affliction, and use them to rebuild what Satan seeks to permanently destroy.
The time to make the choice is now, before difficult times come. In the heat of the moment, with tears of pain and grief clouding our vision, we may be tempted to give up.
So we must determine now, with God's help, to expose Satan for the terrorist he is and to refuse to allow him to defeat us. May we resolve to rebuild instead of retreat.
Mike preaches for the Placerville Church of Christ, which meets at 4120 Missouri Flat Road, Placerville, California, 95667. He also serves as one of the elders for the congregation.