Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress…
“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.
Psalm 46: 1-2, 6-7, 10-11 (NIV)
As this fall morning begins to unfold, I find myself not surprisingly reflecting on yet another year removed from Tuesday, September 11, 2001, which we will remember this upcoming upcoming weekend and next Monday.
For all of us alive and aware of our circumstances that day, that Tuesday has become a benchmark in history for our lives. It is at once unfortunate, because of the tragedy and grief we will forever hold in our hearts, but also despite all the numbness, sense of loss, anger, heartache and pain, we realized anew in all of that that “God is our refuge and strength.”
It was a day when I remembered that God has and continues to hold me in His arms, and that the hope of our Risen Christ shone brightly, even then, through the tears that had fallen on my cheeks and the cheeks of my fellow Americans. For at 10:45 am on that Tuesday, after Lynda had called me yet again, to talk with me about what else had happened that morning, He spoke these words to me quietly in the sadness, uncertainty, anxiousness and fear within my heart—
“I am the resurrection and the life;
he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,
and everyone who lives and believes in Me
shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11: 25-26
I cried that day because America had lost something—surely thousands of its best and brightest, a sense of security and safety, and sense of control over its own destiny. I cried because it seemed to be a dark hour for America, for the world, and for civilization. But as I left the office later that day I was reminded in the faces of my family and friends and thousands around the nation stepping up to help, that even in the midst of darkness, there is the opportunity for the light of Christ to shine even brighter.
This great experiment of God, America, was founded upon a firm reliance on God and obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and should stand as a beacon of His hope for all the world. America may have lost something on that Tuesday, sixteen years ago, but there is something we will never lose—Hope. Hope in a God who is our source of comfort and strength, and hope in the light of the risen Christ, the empty cross, and empty tomb.
The traditions and heritage of our history are once again under attack in this nation, and time will tell what God will work out through His people, and in this land we call America. I know that at the end of it all God will remain on the throne and continue to unfold His plan for the nations, for the people of all the nations, and for the hope of Heaven and life eternal for those who are His children.
Reading scriptures continues to provide comfort for me in the midst of all that is going on around us, including the overwhelming devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey. In the face of all of that, and as we approach another annual reminder of the cowardly attacks of September 11, 2001, those scriptures provide a reminder of His love and hope, and that He remains sovereign—that He still is God. From the 27th Psalm we read—
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life–Of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me, to devour my flesh,
When my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
Though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
As we approach yet another annual remembrance of that day—and remember it we must—we all approach it from different places and different seasons. Some of us are going through difficulties so dark that we can’t yet see the light. Some of us have lost our jobs. Some are trying to just make our way through one day at a time without a loved one we just lost. Some find our children going over the edge and we don’t know why, or how to help them, yet we continue to try. We are all going through struggles of various faces and degrees.
And although I may not be able to help, I can offer a reminder today for you and for me—that we do not go through them alone. The same God who sent His Son for our salvation two thousand years ago, was there when this country was founded, and when evil attacked us as a nation on September 11, 2001, and is there today as we watch people try to tear away the very fabric of who we are as a nation.
He has been there during every moment of our lives, and will be there when the curtain is drawn back inviting all who believe in Him to enter into His kingdom.
And perhaps for today and as we move ahead into each day, we can take comfort once again from those words above, words of King David, when he says—
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—Of whom shall I be afraid?”
And, my friends, in the midst of whatever, the answer to David’s two questions—“whom shall I fear?” and “of whom shall I be afraid?”—is this—no one! God’s got you!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2017. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.