Remembering 9/11

by Stephanie Olson, Co-founder Set Me Free Ministries

Sunday, September 11, 2011, marks the 10-year anniversary of one of the most earth-shaking experiences that occurred on American soil. 9/11—the terrorist attack that took down the Twin Towers, destroyed a portion of the Pentagon, and left a plane down in a Pennsylvania filed—was a harrowing event. In an instant, millions of Americans felt a loss of safety and security that we had become so familiar with. Thousands of Americans lost their lives in a tragic, yet heroic manner. It was a horrific morning.

We saw heroes come out of the woodwork that day. American flags flew across the nation unashamedly. It changed the way we lived life.

My guess is that most of you remember precisely where you were on that Tuesday morning so many years ago. I remember where I was. I was sitting in my home nursing my 9-month-old little girl. I was feeling a sense of invulnerability one moment and a sense of dread the next. It was a morning I will never forget. 

So, where was God in all of this? This was a question many asked. 

Where was God? He was there grieving with all those who lost loved ones. 

     •   “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have 
         collected all my tears in your bottle. You have 
         recorded each one in Your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)

Where was God? He was there comforting those who were mourning. 

     •   “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be 
         comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 NLT)

Where was God? He was providing us comfort so we could comfort others.

     •   “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus 
         Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of 
         all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that 
         we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we 
         will be able to give them the same comfort God has 
         given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT)

Where was God? He was providing us a place of refuge and strength.

     •   “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help 
         in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 NKJV)

Where was God? He was there.

     •   “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor 
         forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV)

God is there to grieve with us, comfort us, and protect us. He will not leave His children. He loves us, but we have to remember, this is not our home. Jesus was clear that, “in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV) 

We don’t always understand the why. God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9, “'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’” says the LORD. “'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (NKJV) 

And yet, Jesus promises us in John 27 that He will give us peace, His peace. In our times of trouble, difficulty and calamity He is there.

We must never forget what happened on September 11, 2001. But we must also never forget that we have a God who loves us and will never forsake us or leave us when we call upon Him. Hallelujah!

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