Changed Forever - 9/11/01
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
Seventeen years ago today, the great terrorist driven tragedies that hit New York City, Washington DC, and an empty field in Pennsylvania effected a nation… effected a people…effected each of us and all that we know and love. And gave yet another reason to believe that it is time for Christians to get Off The Bench… get out of the pew and do something.
I wrote the following the early morning hours after 9/11… At the time, I worked in the tallest building in Mississippi near the State Capitol building… and went through a day not knowing what might be next….
The World As We Know It… Changed Forever – September 11, 2001
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31NIV
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13
Numb… I guess that’s the best way to explain the way I felt… just numb.
After a day spent glued to a voice on the radio or eyes fixed to a television, I stood on the top of my bank’s parking deck and looked out over the edge…at the horizon… Numbed by the events of the day. After learning of the horrific attack and ensuing tragedies from the TV in my father’s hospital room (as they prepared to move him back to the ICU)... And watching as the second jet crashed into the second tower, then hearing of a third hitting the Pentagon, and then a fourth one crashing into a field in Pennsylvania (thanks to some brave Americans)… My knees weakened… My stomach churned… and I went numb.
Thousands of miles from the attacks and the chaos, I looked out over the edge of the deck, out at the horizon… at the beautiful blue sky and white clouds building in the distance. First noticing the Mississippi State Capitol building and its flag flying at half mast… and the golden image of the eagle flying above its dome, and thinking of all that the eagle represents…freedom…strength… courage… soaring above the storm. Then I saw the bronze cross on top of the old church, reflecting the sun’s light on to the deck I was standing on. And I remembered how Jesus calmed he storm… and calmed His disciples. Then, looking down, I saw the people. People walking Talking on cell phones. Driving their cars. All numbed by the day’s events. All with the same look of disbelief on their faces… And my heart ached.
Overwhelmed by the helplessness I felt and feeling the need to do something… to some how help. And with fear, anger, and the numbness raging within me, I looked to the sky…and prayed…”God, I feel so useless…so helpless…I want to help…I want to do something…But what can one man do?”
And I felt the breeze and Psalm 46:10-11 came to mind,“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”Then I felt His peace…And, some how, I remembered and knew that God was above the chaos. God was in control, even when our world was being changed forever. I remembered that the devil, the enemy, was the god of chaos… and that my God, the one and only God, was above the mess…above the chaos. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
Suddenly, I knew my role. I knew my job… how I could help. I was to continue on step by step… day by day… and pray…And pray continually, for God tells us in 2 Chronicles 7:14,”If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
The way that I could be of the greatest help was to pray. Pray for the protection of my family. Pray for President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Pray for our leaders. Pray for the firemen, doctors, and volunteers at “Ground Zero.” Pray for the people in the midst of the destruction. Pray for the families of those missing and dead that they might feel and know Jesus’ peace and love. And pray that out of the tragedy, the chaos, and the fear, that Jesus Christ would be glorified.
And to pray that September 11 would go down in history. Not only as the day that the United States was attacked by gutless terrorists, but the day that America had a Great Awakening… a day that the American people came back to God… a day that marked the beginning of a Great Revival in our great nation… a day that the American people fell back to their knees. Not just because of the emotion and disbelief of the day and all of its events, but to pray… To pray for His strength and courage... for His guidance… His peace… and His grace. A day that the American people remembered that it truly is “In God We Trust.”
And remembered where and in whom our Hope lies… Jesus Christ.
September 11, 2018
Now more than ever, men and women are re-evaluating their lives and their priorities. Now more than ever, perhaps more than ever before, people in our nation and in our world are searching for answers…searching to fill the hole in their hearts… and the void in their lives. Now more than ever, people are searching… searching for hope…searching for peace… searching for God. Now more than ever, we are in need of men and women of faith to step out of the darkness and into the light, willing to share their faith… their hearts… their lives. Now more than ever, we need believers to get off the bench and get out of the pew and do something…
One man… One woman… with faith… can make a difference. With Jesus, we can do anything.
Keep the Faith… Carpe Diem