Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!…
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
Psalm 46: 1-3, 10 (NLT)
I don’t know about you, but for some time after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I found myself having difficulty remembering times before that day and date.
It seems that day has become a benchmark in history for many of our lives, and that is unfortunate, because of the tragedy and grief we will forever hold in our hearts.
But to a degree it is also fortunate, because it was a day where through all the numbness, sense of loss, anger, heartache and pain, we realized anew that “God is [our] refuge and strength” and has and continues to hold us in His arms.
Even though I had no reason to believe they were in trouble, I still called my children that day. Lynda and I both needed to hear their voices, to reconnect with them at that time. I’m sure many of you felt the same way.
I spoke with my son, Nathan, who shared with me that they were all fine. And that when he had come home that evening he asked his two year old daughter, Hannah, our only granddaughter at the time—”Hannah, how are you?
She responded…”I good, Daddy.” I cried when he told me that. I cried because she was safe, but also I cried for all those innocent people who weren’t. People who had died that morning in acts of horrendous and massive cruelty. I cried for their families and loved ones who were left empty and will forever feel the pain of their loss.
And I cried that day, as I do today, for all those in our community and beyond whom we seem to walk by too many days of our lives. All those children and families, those who are all alone, who despite how hard they try to make ends meet, often watch their children go to bed hungry, or go off to school without adequate clothing, or suffer with a medical problem they can’t address because they are without adequate medical care.
Children of all ages who can’t say at the end of a day—”I good”. And despite our age or busy schedules trying to make our way in the world, we are called to serve them all in this great land in which we live and through our faith in Christ and His call on our lives to serve each other, to love one another, to be His hands and feet in a lost and hurting world.
In his remarks at the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance three days later, on Friday, September 14, 2001, President George W. Bush said:
“We have seen our national character in rescuers working past exhaustion; in long lines of blood donors; in thousands of citizens who have asked to work and serve in any way possible. We have seen our national character in eloquent acts of sacrifice. Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have saved himself…stayed until the end at the side of his quadriplegic friend.
A beloved priest died giving the last rites to a firefighter. Two office workers, finding a disabled stranger, carried her down sixty-eight floors to safety. Today…he said…we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called “the warm courage of national unity.”
This great experiment of God, the United States of America, was founded and discovered upon a firm reliance on God, and the sacrificial lives of countless heroes through the ages, and should stand as a beacon of His hope for all the world.
This great nation was founded upon the teachings of scripture that we are each individually and together—not by government largess or dictates—called to help each other. That with the hand of God upon us, we are called to be all He created us to be as individuals and as a people. And with the belief that in the commonality of our lives, whether in suffering or good fortune, we are always called by our great Creator to be a lighthouse for each other and to make sure no one is in need or alone as we hold hands together and move on to becoming all we can be.
America may have lost something on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, but there is something we will never lose. In every day, we need to remember that in our hope and future as a nation and a people, we will move forward with a firm resolve that with every last ounce of our energy and as long as God gives us breath to breathe, we will continue to hold hands together to make this world a better place for “children of all ages” who need our help.
“Hannah how are you?” And our precious two year old granddaughter, not knowing what had just happened that day, but simply with a heart full of hope, responded—
“I good, Daddy, I good!”
There is much left to do, for this nation and for the God who founded it and set the stars in the sky above it. But together with His firm hand of strength and direction and heart of love for each of us—we will do what we have to do for Him, for this land, and for each other and “children of all ages” everywhere.
And there is still much left to be done in our own lives, living out our own lives to become all we dream of being—to become all whom God created us to be. And also, with His firm hand of strength and direction and heart of love for us individually—we will.
God bless each of you. God Bless our land. And may God bless us as we answer his call on our lives to become all He created us to be, and to change the world with and for Him, for the better.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.