The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. – Psalms 145:18 NLT
September 11, 2001 – If you’re over the age of twenty-five, you likely have some vivid memories of what you were doing when you heard what happened. I do. I remember I was at home with my two small boys, still in my pajamas, toggling between feeding a baby and entertaining a preschooler. My husband was already at work when he called me to see if I had heard what happened. “A plane crashed into the World Trade Center!” He exclaimed.
Before I even turned on the news, I imagined a horrible accident. An inexperienced pilot must have misjudged somehow and crashed his little plane into the building. How sad.
As I tuned into the T.V. News, no one seemed sure what had happened. Reporters were scrambling to get the details interviewing witnesses that were obviously shaken up as they watched the massive plumes of smoke billow from the top floors of one of the buildings. Reports of an airplane automatically led people to assume it was some sort of small commuter plane. No one imagined it was a passenger jet. As the reporting continued, I remember seeing another airplane coming into view. “What is it doing there?” I wondered. But before I could even finish my thought, the answer was clear as the top of the second tower exploded upon impact. Suddenly everyone became shockingly aware of what was going on. America was under attack.
As the attack unfolded, a third plane flew into the Pentagon and we learned of a fourth plane that had been hijacked crashing into a field in Pennsylvania. Eventually we all heard about the heroes on Flight 93 that took it upon themselves to make sure this plane didn’t reach its final destination, wherever that may have been.
America was in a collective panic and for a moment in time it really changed us. Together we wept the loss of life and rejoiced in the many stories of miracles. Together we prayed for God’s hand to be on America. Together we turned to God because we didn’t know where else to turn. (Some statistics show that in the immediate aftermath of the attacks church attendance went up by as much as 25%.) Together we knew we needed God.
But it didn’t take long for America to be comfortable again. Life went on. Memorials were erected. Before we knew it we were back to thinking we were fine on our own. And in the fourteen years since the attack, America has not only decided it doesn’t need God – it has, in many ways, decided to abolish God!
As we spend today reflecting, maybe the best way to honor the memories of that fateful day is to not allow it to have been in vain. Maybe as we reflect on the memories we can allow them to remind us that we do need God. Maybe we could decide to be proactive instead of reactive and develop a faith in the Almighty God before we find ourselves facing another tragedy.
God wants a personal relationship with us. That is why he sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins. Today is as good a day as any to acknowledge your need for a Savior and to surrender your life to the only one that can bring you to God. This is the moment to ask Jesus to be your Lord!
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6 NLT
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. – James 4:8 NLT
But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. – Ephesians 2:13 NLT
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16 NLT