Saturday, the United States will be commemorating one of the worst days in our lives. A story of a war that was declared on our nation, a story of life and death. A story of survival, faith, and hope.
Even though I didn't lose anyone I knew on September 11, 2001, I will never forget that day. I was home following the news and, like everyone else, trying to figure out what happened and why. There are so many stories that still continue to be shared about that day. Stories of miracles, of faith and hope rising out of ashes, and of course, stories of grief and surviving that grief with a strong faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Some of those stories have made their way into The Guidepost magazine that I receive once a month. Guideposts, and its sister magazine: Angels on Earth, are also readable online. I thought I would direct you to a story of miraculous survival from a blind man and his dog that I read on the Guidepost website. They were in the north tower when the first plane exploded into their building. Here is the link: http://www.guideposts.org/hope-and-faith/blind-man-relies-hope-and-his-dog-september-11 May God be with all those who lost loved ones on that day.
I can't imagine the kind of mind, or minds, that would plan such an atrocity. One thing I'm sure of is that it doesn't come from a God of love. Not the God of love I know. The Bible says that God is love and that love casts out fear. So how can terrorists claim they are acting out of direction from the God of their religion? Because of their own fears they act to perpetuate fear in others, thereby creating a false sense of power in their own minds and in the minds of others. Is it not fear and the greed for power, and especially for land, that has fueled most wars on the earth since the beginning of time?
I'm not a historian or a politician and both history and politics of the world are complicated. I have no answers concerning the whole mess. But, the answer for me is to trust the God of the Bible. That is too simple for some people. And yet, the simple fact of God sending His Son to show us his love is what gives me peace.
However, our faith in God and following Jesus is what Jesus told us would bring on persecution--Matthew 5:11, 12. Persecution has been a reality for Christians all over the world, but I've always considered Christians and our churches in the U.S. to be impervious to persecution. From the reading and research I've done, I believe September 11th has changed that. The terrorists behind September 11th want a one-world religion. Americans are "infidels" not only because of our godlessness, but because of our Godliness. Christians are especially infidel because we have divided our loyalties to the One God by also believing in Christ and the Holy Spirit, a Triune God.
Christians have enjoyed tolerance in the U.S. because of the Constitution that was written by our earliest Christian fathers. But as people fall away from the authentic Christian faith and amendments are added to the Constitution, it's obvious that the levels of tolerance have dropped. Therefore, we can see from stories in the news that the persecution of Christians has increased in the U.S.
The stories of Christians standing on their faith in Christ through the 911 attack prove that we have a huge number of individuals who are equipped to withstand and overcome persecution--a "great cloud of witness," Hebrews 12. Seeking these stories and spreading them around can help all of us as we aim to strengthen our commitment to faith in Christ. My prayer for all of us who claim Christ as our Savior and Shepherd is that we will be able to continue in our faith as we face an uncertain future.