Today is September 11, 2009. “Are you safe?” seems like a good question to consider on the 8th anniversary of the Al Qaeda attack. I remember the morning of September 11, 2001. I left the house early to follow my son to the mechanic’s shop where he was to have some work done on his car. I was listening to the radio as we drove through the countryside. The local talk station was playing on my car radio. About half way to the mechanic’s, the morning talk show host interrupted his discussion of some local topic to report that apparently a small plane had just flown into one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The host was more amused than alarmed at that point. However, a few minutes later his tone was much more than alarmed. As reports began to spread through the various network wire services, an unsettling picture emerged of an unknown number of planes crashing into an unknown number of locations. My son and I returned home to view our first TV images of the attack. Within minutes of our arrival, the second tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. We also heard reports of a bomb or a plane hitting the Pentagon. Numerous other unconfirmed reports were still being assessed. It was time to ask – are we safe?
Today, eight years later, for the first time since 9/11 a new president sits in the Oval office on this infamous anniversary. There continues to be concern about the remnants Al Qaeda still seeking to bring harm to America. There are also at least two countries that are on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, countries who have stated they would not hesitate to use these weapons against the United States. It seems appropriate to ask again – are we safe?
What does it mean to be safe? Every morning we get into our vehicles without absolute knowledge that we will ever return home again. There are no guarantees, even for our next breath. This anniversary is a reminder that man does not control his own destiny. Will there be an attack on this anniversary date? How do you know if you and your children are safe?
The Bible says there is only one place where things are truly safe. Psalm 62 speaks of trusting in God:
5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
6He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Only God can keep the promise of providing safety. Notice the psalm says God alone provides rest and stability. There is no other refuge. God’s power extends beyond the confines of the physical world that we live in and in which we mistakenly place so much hope. The real world includes this physical world, but it is so much more, and God alone rules over all of it. Safety is found in the presence of God. All things unfold as he has decreed. We don’t know what today or the next day will bring. Many of the potential scenarios we face are unsettling. Yet, through all of these things, this psalm calls you to find hope and security in God alone. Not God and something else–like the right president or the right foreign policy; but in God alone. How comforting are these verses in Psalm 62? Only God’s rule extends from the physical world to the real world. Only God can keep you from hell and provide protection through Christ so that you can spend eternity with him. Only God can remove that which is the greatest danger to you – your sin!
Yes, we must be concerned for our nation’s security. Yes, we must pray for and diligently select wise leaders. Yes, it is good for the military to train and become proficient at fighting terrorism. But remember this truth and teach it to your children:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.