Today is the anniversary of 9/11. Sixteen years ago, the word terror took on a new, fresh meaning, indeed a terrifying meaning. It was the formal beginning of a war and a new way of life which shows no signs of ending any time soon. This war is fought by targeting children, shoppers, office workers, airplane passengers, and folks simply wanting to go for a walk. The weapons are often not instruments of war, but the common vehicles of daily transportation. The battlefields are not marked by soldiers lining up for battle, but by city streets, or office buildings, or by tourist attractions. The purpose of this war is not to win a piece of land or conquer a country. The purpose of this war is to bring terror to the moments of everyday life, to make people think they are not safe.
With this kind of enemy, it is always appropriate to consider if there will be a 9/12 or a 9/13 that we will also come to remember. Will another major cultural icon, like the Twin Towers, disappear from a familiar cityscape? Of course, we don’t know the answer to these questions with any certainty. But we do know there are those who are committed to giving us more dates to remember.
9/11 raises the question of safety. The truth is that here on earth, ever since the fall, it is impossible to guarantee physical safety from one moment to the next. Yes, we are to be wise and prudent, but as we have just observed with Harvey and Irma, the unexpected can quickly become the norm. We are only truly safe in God. As the Psalmist says, only in God is found safety!
Each day can be lived in confidence that God is our refuge and strength. Each day you can know that if your heart is given to Christ you have nothing to fear on earth. This wonderful, powerful truth must be a vibrant reality in your life so that you can model it for your children. You can show your children that your heart can be still. Why? Because as Psalm 46 so eloquently says, God is your refuge and your strength. One day, in God’s time, the wars of man will cease. The intense battles of the soul will be stilled and Christ shall at last have gained that final blessed victory.
Psalm 46: 9-11:
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.