Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11 2001

Who in the United States will ever forget that day? I remember watching Peter Jennings (now deceased) live on ABC News, and seeing the second plane hit the other tower as it was actually happening. Then shortly afterwards, seeing the twin towers collapse. What a sickening feeling. It has been a terribly painful time for the families who lost loved ones to such senseless demonically inspired cruelty. Unfortunately, I believe terrorists will strike again in America (and elsewhere), as news regularly demonstrates kamikazes willing to give their lives in the name of their false god.

Certain images stick in my mind, even years later. Two disturb me particularly but I decided not to post them. One is of people stuck in the building, hanging out of the windows or about to fall out of the windows; trying to escape the flames (Click here for photo)The other is a man falling, upside down, one leg bent almost like someone in a march (Click here for photo) Of all the images out there, when I think of 9-11, I often think of him first. It is unfathomable to me what was going through their minds. My understanding some of the people that where called “jumpers” actually where blown out or fell out dead from the towers.

I remember watching a news report one evening, and a reporter conducting interviews on faith asked a young woman “Did this make you turn to God even more so than before”? She cried out “What God? There is no God! What kind of God would allow this?” How sad--- in her very understandable anguish she blamed Him for the actions of these evil men. If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, such things will always be hard to reconcile. These things can be hard to understand even for Christians to reconcile in their minds. Yes, God allows bad things to happen, even with some of His servants, and this thought probably goes against the charismatic grain of some folks. We will have trials, we will experience hardships, but we must keep our focus on Him to bring us through these things. And there will always be events in the lives of other people and likely in our own lives which may never make sense to us.

Yet, on the other hand, there has been many times when I cried out “why” to God, and saw Him weave certain negative events and personal trials into His plan and purpose for my life. And when I angrily thought He was standing afar simply as a voyeur, I realized He was directing my paths towards a “greater good”. A lot of times the “greater good” will be how you impact other people; it will not just be for our own needs. There have been times satan sent certain people in my life, but upon reflection, God also worked through some of them for my own benefit… down the road. And this can be a very painful process.

Our time on this earth is temporary, James compared it as a vapor. One day our physical bodies will die, and what matters most is where we will spend eternity.

James 4:14
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Matthew 16:26
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

At times I have seen American soldiers come home from serving in Iraq, only to die in a car accident or some other tragic event a few weeks later. Look at Elisha who served God mightily, yet as he was dying from sickness, he was prophesying (2 Kings 13). John the Baptist was beheaded. Yet we are to live without fear and unbelief towards God’s promises and take Him at His Word. It is a walk of faith, and that requires trusting in Him and believing what is written in His Word. It also requires recognizing His sovereignty.

My prayers today are with the families who lost loved ones September 11, 2001. I have never seen in my lifetime Americans from all walks of life come together for a common cause as we did after 9-11. Out of that terrible ugliness, something beautiful did emerge as we came together as a nation, although I am certainly not suggesting terrorism happens to promote this kind of good. We cannot and should not live our lives in fear, but as a nation; we should not let apathy take hold us either. So many nations have been effected by al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations; we must keep our primary focus on the Lord.

NAHUM 1:7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

JOHN 3:15-17
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.