On this day 11 years ago, I remember sitting in the livingroom with my 16-year-old daughter who was homeschooled at the time. We were glued to the television and I told her to take notes because she would be writing a report on this historic, tragic event for her History class. I remember the emotions of shock, sadness, anger and alarm as we sat there together discussing it. I reassured her that God was still in control and that things would eventually be okay. We prayed for the victims. I thought, “Lord, is this going to be America’s wake-up call to bring us back to You?” And then prayed, “Please Lord, help all those people…and, help America!”
I spoke with my parents who called me first thing that morning to be sure we were watching. My dad, a retired Lt. Col. from the Air Force had been on the phone with his comrades from the Pentagon getting details. Having lived through the bombing of Pearl Harbor, both my parents knew what this meant for our country. My dad said this compared to that.
I stopped at the grocery store and of course, that is all people were talking about. But it was as though everyone was walking around not really knowing what they were doing; their thoughts completely absorbed in what had happened. I drove to the Christian school that my youngest daughter was attending to pick her up early. All the grade-school classes had come to a halt as teachers tried their best to explain things and those young minds attempted to fathom what had happened. My daughter and I discussed it on the way home. At 9 years old, she didn’t understand the ramifications but knew a terrible thing had happened and alot of people were killed and hurt. In that respect, her little heart was troubled. We prayed together in the car.
It seemed the whole world was in an ominous hush. My husband and I talked about it with our girls for days. Reassuring them that God loves them and He was in control of this tragedy – that He would bring comfort and justice – reminding them to pray for America to return to God.
Today, 11 years later, I realize that my question to God that day has been answered very clearly. It should have been a wake-up call, but has not turned us back to Him.
The 9/11 tragedy united American citizens for a short time. But that ended within a few years at a presidential election. As usual, we proudly divided into groups of Democrats and Republicans, or otherwise, and voted for a new man who promised to make a better America. We were sick of the way the “other guy” was doing it, even after a heroic speech on 9/11, and actions thus after as our military was put into motion at the task of locating the evil culprit of the attack on America and dismantling terrorism.
Millions of people began going to church to seek answers. As they sought, the members of the so-called ‘houses of God’ tried desperately to become seeker-sensitive by whatever means necessary to accommodate the ‘destitute in spirit’. Today, according to the Barna Group, less than half of those people who walked through church doors in those months are still there.
With “good intentions”, we have gotten it wrong. We have chosen a man and a world structure as our safety net. We have put all of our trust into shallow political promises of “change”. Religious structures became nothing more than empty, human ideas of Jesus that have profaned God’s name and His Word in an effort to be relevant for the day.
Oh, yes. Things have “changed”.
This is not a political rant, nor am I bashing the church. It is to point out that we are no more looking to the God of Heaven and Earth, Creator of mankind and all things, than we were before “that” day. We have looked to every other means possible to find peace, happiness, love and unity. We look to “other” religions – those polytheistic in nature. We look to the government, a political platform, or a man. We look to our family. We look to our jobs and how to make more money. We look to drugs and alcohol. We look to this person or that who could make us happy. We even look to our church community or mission work. We throw ourselves into every other thing, making whatever else our worship. While the one thing that is the answer to it all…the only answer…the only one who should be the center of our worship, adoration, praise, peace, comfort, unification, happiness, place of transformation, is never even considered. Or at least not made the center of our lives. God forgive us!
GOD-YAHWEH-THE GREAT I AM…
is the answer. He is real. He is still reigns over all, through it all.
If that is true, why does He allow the evil, the pain and suffering? So many ask that question. First of all, there is also an enemy. He is real also. Satan-the devil-Lucifer. Satan is defeated, but his end is not yet. God will put an end to the devil, the evil, the pain, the suffering. When that time comes, will YOU be ready?
Second, we all have a choice to make. If God took away the evil, then He would have to take away our free will. Our right to choose. God made us with a mind, thoughts, choices. He did not make us robots in some sort of organic automated world. (Thank the Lord!) We choose God or we choose any of a million other things. To choose another way, is deciding to choose evil. Yes, choosing any other thing before God, or other than God, is to choose evil. God or satan? In effect, when you do not choose God, you are allowing evil to take precedence. Yes, it is that blatant.
WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE. We are accountable for the choices we make. We are accountable for what happens in the world. Sure, God can change it with one sweep of His hand. And so He has, many times in pockets all around the world. But we don’t even recognize it as that. We don’t even recognize when God is at work. We disregard His moves as “natural occurrences”, acts of “Mother Nature”, even blame it on the devil. Evil is of the devil, but the devil gets more credit than he is worth sometimes. God is God over everything. What God allows the enemy to do, is ultimately for us to choose to follow HIM.
God is patient, but holy. And He will not wait forever. An end will come to all of this. And there is a heaven – there is a hell. Before that one final eminent, fail sweep of His hand, that everyone will assuredly recognize as God, we have choices to make. And He waits for us to make the right one. To choose HIM. To completely turn to Him…to fully repent…to fully turn away from our sin, our disregard of Him, our profaning His name and His Word, to turn back to Him with all we have and all we are.
God is merciful, kind, patient, loving. If He was not, it would be much, much worse around here. If He was angry, uncaring and nasty…life, if any, would be beyond the pain and suffering we see now. We cannot fathom what it would be without God’s love and compassion. You might not even be here.
To all who read this, I fervently pray that you would consider it. But not just consider it, take it deep into your heart. Make the right choice. I love you because God loves you. My desire is to see you living out your destiny. To be walking with God in full reliance of Him to get you through the day…to get you through tragedy…to give you joy unspeakable in your life without all the striving and struggle. To be at peace within yourself in the midst of the chaos of the world. To have the assurance that Christ Jesus is living within you as your Lord and Savior in order that you would not perish but have everlasting life. That is not just a phrase. It is real. Everlasting life. With God. A promise I can guarantee that is directly from your Creator. The one who sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, so that you would never have to live in eternal torment but have glorious hope for better tomorrows.
He awaits your choice.
God bless you and keep you, my friends. You are in my prayers. And I am available if you need to talk or want prayer.
I love you.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.