Summary: A reflection on 9/11/01
Optimism In The Face of Tragedy
“We all face tragedy. What’s more, we’ve all received the symbols of tragedy. Yours might be a telegram from the war department, an ID bracelet from the hospital, a scar, or a court subpoena. We don’t like these symbols, nor do we want these symbols. Like wrecked cars in a junkyard, they clutter up our hearts with memories of bad days.
Could God use such things for something good? How far can we go with verses like this one: ‘In Everything God works for the good of those who love him?’ Does ‘everything’ include tumors and tests and tempers and terminations…?”
I have often wondered through the past weeks how God could use the tragedies to his advantage and then how we as his people would react.
Through all this I have seen us rear our ugly heads of hatred; I have seen God’s people go back to the “eye for an eye” mindset, but most of all I have seen his people wonder what to do and how to feel about the whole thing.
What were we wondering about? Well some asked, is it right to feel this kind of anger and hostility? Others asked how could God allow this to happen. Yet, more were so absolutely awestruck by the event that they were beyond words.
The thing that amazed me most were the Christians that stood in front of millions and proclaimed that we should do no less to those responsible than they did to us. They said “we’re the hands and feet of Jesus, I guess that makes us able to deal justice with his anointing.” This idea of judge, jury, and executioner could not be farther from the truth.
It is normal for God’s people to feel anger toward enemies for instance let’s look at David, the man after God’s own heart. In psalm 55, he asks God to condemn men’s souls to Hell, he says: “Let death seize them; Let then go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.”
I feel as most people do concerning the terrorist activities of the 11th. I feel that we should seek justice, not revenge. Seek God’s face and all will become clear as to what we should do.
“The Bible says that “in everything God works for the good of those who love him.” I want you to do something here quickly. Remove the word everything from the text and replace it with what in your life is causing you trouble and grief.
How does the passage read in your life?
In hospital stays, God works for the good.
In financial problems, God works for the good.
In a prison term, God works for the good.
If God uses tragedy to change the lives of the apostles, could it be that he might use one in your life also?
As hard as it may be to believe, you could be only a Saturday away from an Easter Sunday. You could be only hours from that precious prayer, of a changed heart, “God, did you do this for me?”
Could it be that God had a deeper meaning for Tuesday, September 11, 2001? Not for the world, although it has joined us in one accord for the most part. Not for the nation, although it has brought us closer to God and to each other. No, not for the world or the nation, but for us, or dare I say it, myself.
“Maybe you feel that way, or maybe you never looked at it that way before. How about this way: “God does what it takes to get our attention.
It’s the message of the Bible: the relentless pursuit of God. God on the Hunt. God in the search. Peeking under the bed for hiding kids, stirring the bushes for lost sheep. Searching, wrestling, pulling us back to him, over and over again.
Kind, then stern. Tender and tough. Faithfully firm. Patiently urgent. Eagerly tolerant. Softly shouting. Gently Thundering.
A Gentle Thunder.”
That’s what God is, a gentle thunder. That’s been the point he has been trying to show to us. That he is there, and that all is used to his glory. Can it be that we as individuals, were given a gentle reminder by the Lord of Peace.
I am not saying that God is or ever was responsible for any of the acts of terrorism of the past month. What I am saying is that God has certainly used this incident to his glory by bringing us to our knees and focusing on others not ourselves for the first time in a long time.
I have noticed that God has taken a time of death and misery and transformed it into a time of prayer and hope. All Praise to God for his wonderful power and grace.