Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD. JEREMIAH 17:7
For some reason I stayed home from work on September 11, 2001. I had just finished a three-mile run when Barbara met me on the highway near our home with a concerned look on her face. She blurted out the words, "We've been attacked!"
After watching television and learning more about the terrorist attacks, I showered and rushed to the office, where I met with leaders of our ministry.
We prayed and discussed how we would encourage followers of Christ to respond to days that were filled with fear and uncertainty.
Many of the reflections that I captured in the days following 9/11 are just as appropriate in these days of insecurity:
1. Trust in God, not men (see Jeremiah 17:5-8). God and His plans are not upset by the actions of men. He is the anchor in a storm.
2. Live for eternity and God's kingdom (see Matthew 25:14-30). The things of the world seem trivial in a time of crisis. Determine God's purpose for you. How does He want to use you to reach, influence and serve others in the cause of Christ?
3. Share the gospel boldly (see 2 Corinthians 5:20-21). People could be one breath away from meeting God face to face.
4. Embrace biblical family values now, not just when there's a crisis (see 2 Peter 3:10-13).
5. Give others courage to live for Christ today and not wait for tomorrow (see Hebrews 3:13).
One of my favorite hymns in the days after 9/11 was Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." Perhaps you sang it in your church:
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Those are words to remember whenever we need courage to live in these troubled times.
What do you remember from 9/11? How was your faith affected?
Pray that you and your family would make God your "mighty fortress" in the days to come.