9/11, a day of reflection. How should we look at it?

Posted: September 11, 2014 in Thoughts on God

“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:9-13)

Who doesn’t remember where they were when they heard America was under attack? Or when they first saw the footage of the planes flying into the twin towers? We were shocked, confused, vulnerable, and eventually angry. No longer isolated to other parts of the world, terrorism brought itself to our front door. As a nation, we were changed. In the face of such an atrocious act of violence our cores beliefs are challenged in ways we perhaps never imagined.

Paul encourages us to hold fast to our faith. In the face of any tragedy, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s goodness. Surrounded by pain, suffering, and sin we can become discouraged and feel overwhelmed by the situation. But God’s goodness and grace abound even in darkness. And he is always in control, even when, especially when, everything else seems so out of control.

It’s because of God’s goodness that we ultimately have hope. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God can heal and restore our joy because he is the giver of true peace. When we are able to embrace that, we rise above the chaos around us to see his face more clearly. In the same way, we have hope for the future when all will be made right and justice will prevail. There will be no more tears and no more pain.

And yet the greatest of these is love. There’s such freedom when we open our hearts to love those around us. Yes, we love on those who are hurting, those who are alone, and those who have loved us. But the true testimony of Jesus is to “love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your father in heaven” (Matt 5:44-45). If we withhold forgiveness and mercy, we allow bitterness and hatred to take root—the perfect end to Satan’s plan. Don’t let him win any battles. Love is the greatest trump card of all time.

Ask: How have you personally changed in both positive and negative ways because of 9/11? Do you worry more? Hate more? Do you pray more?

Pray:  9/11 remains a difficult day for countless families and friends who have lost a loved one. Please take a moment to pray for them. Also remember to pray for our enemies.

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