"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. (Psalm 46:1-3, NIV)
The day started like any other. I got up, ate breakfast, got the kids off to school and prepared to meet with my counseling elder. I had agreed to meet monthly with a 50 year minister of the Gospel and his tutelage has made me the man and pastor I am today. On the drive into his home, the sky looked like another beautiful pre-fall day. Pristine would be a good word to describe it.
As I walked into Rev. Marden's home, he called me to the living room and asked if I had heard any breaking news. I had not. He then began to inform me of possible terrible events occurring in New York city. For the next half an hour we both sat in stunned silence as we watched horrific events unfold.
The day started out like any other and the meeting was important to me, but just before 9 AM on September 11, 2001, everything changed.
In the numbed haze, Rev. Marden asked me about our meeting and what I wanted to do. My response was automatic. I said, "I want to go home and be with my family." With that, I went out to my car and drove home. Can't remember much about those four or five miles. The sky now looked threatening and ugly.
Well, we now know the rest of the story and many still relive that morning over and over in their minds. Many others carry a huge hole in their lives and heart because of their loss. Others will forever remember smells and sounds of terror that day. For all the painful memories, there were/are heros to be celebrated. For the lives that were saved because brave women and men ran toward the chaos, we give thanks. Let's remember the tragic events of this day but live as first responders. As messengers of the Gospel, that is what we are.
(Photo creds Rocky Mountain, The Record Thomas E)
I'm certain the same feelings we have felt about 9/11 are the same as those experienced by our parents and grandparents during Pearl Harbor. No matter the situation, pain and suffering change life as we know it. What do we do and where do we turn when life as we know it or knew it is turned upside down?
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)
Our existence in marked by changes of all kinds; some are good and some are frightening. A constant in these times is our God and the Lord Jesus. Take heart and live in an ever-changing world with an unchanging God.
"He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the
shields with fire. “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 46:9-11, NIV)