“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Today is the sixteenth anniversary of the four coordinated and catastrophic terrorist attacks on the United States that were carried out on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, injured more than 6,000, and caused more than $10 billion in property damage. On every anniversary, in New York City, the names of the victims who died in the “9/11 Attacks,” as we call them, are read out against a background of somber music. The President of the United States attends a memorial service at the Pentagon and asks Americans to observe Patriot Day with a moment of silence at precisely 8:46 am Eastern Time, the moment when the first hijacked plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
A moment of silence is a good way to honor and remember, but may the saints of God not leave it there. May we, as God’s people, fall on our knees and seek the face of our God, knowing the promise that He has given to us . . . a promise which gives us the hope that leads to healing from the hardships we face.
But notice the key that unlocks this door to that healing: humility. A humble heart is the heart that God heals because, as the Chronicler tells us, a humble heart . . .
- Seeks God’s face in prayer
- Confesses sin
- Cries out for forgiveness
- Turns away from sinful behavior
Here is something to keep in view on this national day of remembrance, regardless of whether we are dealing with personal sin in our own lives or corporate sin as a nation, the formula for healing is the same. Like any earthly father, our heavenly Father is delighted when we come to Him in humble reliance. Our God is in the business of answering prayers, and He is always “open for business” when we approach the throne of grace with contrite and humble hearts that beat for Him alone and trust in Him alone.
We live in a nation that has been blessed beyond measure by God. So, instead of spending so much time asking God to bless America, perhaps we should spend our time praying that America would bless God! And may that blessing always begin with us.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!