Wednesday September 11, 2019
You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14)
Eighteen years ago today a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic group al-Qaeda was launched against the United States. There were 2,977 victims of these reprehensible suicide attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and that number could have been much higher except for the courage and selfless action of passengers on the fourth plane, United 93, which never reached its intended destination, crashing instead in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers mounted their own counterattack against the hijackers.
Let us not recall murder and terror this day, but rather courage, heroism, and a love that willingly laid down its life for others, a love that was exemplified by the passengers of Flight 93 and the first responders who sprinted into burning buildings while all others fled.
Since that fateful day, for those who travel by air, the security rituals are constant reminders that, regardless of where we are heading—to a business meeting . . . a vacation with our family . . . a special event with friends . . . a graduation ceremony of a family member—we are not as secure as we once thought we were in America. And that is why faith is the best way forward, regardless of our mode of travel and the destination to which we are traveling.
Regardless of what it may seem like to a watching world, our God is in control of all things. He is not asleep on His throne, a distant deity disconnected from His creation. He is sovereignly controlling all things to accomplish His perfect purpose, even using the sinful acts of man along the way. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, sin stained everything, but God did not leave them in their sin. He promised to send a Savior who would bear the penalty for our sin to bring us back into relationship with Him. And along the way, God has promised to work all things together for the good of those who love Him.
Do you look toward the future with anxiety? Has disease or simply the inexorable march of time made you think that the end is near? If you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ, you have nothing to fear! In the instant that you are absent from your earthly body, you will be present with the Lord, He who gave us life and has promised new life for all those who trust in Christ alone for salvation. Only the Christian can face this uncertain, even sometimes ugly world with the confident assurance that He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.
The dreadful events of the 9/11 attacks drove our nation back to its knees, if only for a brief time, and each year it causes many to pause and consider the uncertainty and the brevity of life. For the Christian, however, one thing that is absolutely certain: Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Let us thank Him this divine promise that will transform a human heart from fearful to faithful.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!