And just like that...everything changed
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" Matthew 5:4
Life can change in an instant. You get that one phone call or you make that one turn and suddenly, nothing will ever be the same. The world gets flipped on its head and everything you thought you knew is different.
Not too many things remind me of this more than when I reflect back on this day, September 11th, 2001.
There is a rending of my heart and spirit every time I go back and revisit the events of that day. Psychologists have done in-depth studies on how the trauma affected all of us, both individually and corporately, in the world. There are many theories about who was behind the attack and their motivations for such unspeakable evil. This was not the first atrocity to be committed against humanity and it certainly will not be the last.
I remember being overwhelmed by the realization, maybe for the first time really in all of my 20 years of life at the time, that there is unfathomable evil in the world and that we have an enemy who hates us.
The bright and shining ray that sprang out of that day came from what happened around me as I watched this tragedy unfold.
At 8:45 a.m. we were a bunch of college kids, stressed out and hungover and bustling around to get to class on time. At 8:46 a.m., exams no longer mattered. It felt as if time stood still. We held our breaths and crumbled into strangers' arms as we watched the towers crumble to ashes and everything we knew about the world changed. We watched the televisions and those of us who hadn't prayed in a long time kneeled with abandon and cried out. No regard for what it might look like. No reputations to protect. What had mattered at 8:45 no longer mattered at 8:46.
All these years later, we continue to hear stories of the acts of bravery, selflessness, and sacrifice that were poured out on that day. Men and women who risked and lost their lives to try and help those who could not help themselves.
My friends, I do not want to take away from this memorial not one single bit. But I do want to encourage us to remember that we still have an enemy who hates us and he is deceiving millions every day. Millions are going through the motions of life today just as we were at 8:45 a.m. on September 11th, 2001. Bustling through life, either hating God, admitting we don't believe in Him or acting as if we simply don't need Him.
The very unpopular fact is, though, that scripture that has been tested and tried time and time again tells us that a day is coming that will cast a titan of a shadow over the events of 9/11. A day when the restrainer will be removed and the whole world will experience darkness and evil like we have never known.
And just like that...everything will change. Are you ready? I am not a fear monger, but, if this idea scares you, then I do want to talk with you. Because I do not live in fear of this day that has been foretold. I know where my escape lies. I know where my eternity is secured. And I stick close to the very One who knows the story from beginning to end and guides my every step. Nothing is outside of His omniscience and omnipotence.
If you do not have the peace and security and assurance of this, please reach out and let us share with you. Or better yet, pick up the nearest Bible and begin reading it for yourself. Because we have no more power to save ourselves than the people in the towers had to get out of the way of danger that day.
But there is One who selflessly and sacrificially laid down His life for us, to rescue us and put Himself in our place. May we all kneel with abandon and cry out to Him every day with no regard for what it might look like; no reputations to protect. May we remember in today's struggles, that tomorrow is not promised. Let's seize every moment to love each other and love Him the most.