Summary: This is a 9/11 remembrance message
Walking through the Valley
September 10, 2006
Lisa Beamer’s coat closet is now filled with things she never wanted to own. There are large plastic containers filled with thousands of postcards and letters from people all over the world. There are also songs, poems, various items with the Lord’s Prayer on them and homemade momentos with the words “let’s roll.” She received two purple hearts from veterans that believed that Todd had earned theirs by his actions on flight 93. There are videotapes with TV interviews, newspaper clippings and one more item. The shattered remains of Todd’s watch, which still carry the smell of jet fuel. The only readable part of that watch is the date, September 11th.
Five years ago the clear skies of New York, Washington D.C. and rural Pennsylvania were pierced by hijacked airplanes and a diabolical plan to pierce the soul of our nation. Five years ago we woke up from our dreaming and found ourselves living in a nightmare. Five years ago we watched, as planes become missiles, icons were reduced piles of rubble, lives were lost and hearts were broken. Five years ago we watched as our false security was shattered and millions were drawn back to God in masses only to leave Him once the crisis was over.
Five years ago, we realized how very fragile life truly is and we were given a reminder of the things that mattered. We hugged our kids and grandchildren a little tighter. We told our spouses that we loved them a little more often. We prayed to God with a little more sincerity. We were given a wake up call from the pits of Hell only to allow Satan to lull us back to sleep.
Life is not the same as it was on September 12th because we are more like we were on September 10th. We have forgotten the lives that were lost on that dreadful day and we have forgotten the lives of those who have been forever changed. We have forgotten the widows who are raising children alone. We have forgotten the parents who will never hold their children again. We have forgotten the heroism shown by ordinary people who rose to the occasion in extraordinary ways. This morning I want to raise fresh awareness in your hearts and minds of our nations deepest wounds and remind you of our only hope for healing.
At 8:45am on September 11th, our world was completely changed. As planes plunged into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the strong walls of the Pentagon and open fields of rural Pennsylvania, our world was changing. It was beginning to crumble.
The psalmist reminds of times like these. Psalm 11:3 says this: What can an honest person do when everything crumbles? CEV
What do you do when the world crumbles? How do you respond? How do we go on?
The night of September 11th 2001, President Bush read a familiar passage of scripture. It is a passage that not only gives us comfort in tough times but gives us hope for a brighter future. If you have your Bibles with you, please open them to Psalm 23
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
This morning I want to focus your attention to verse 4 of that beautiful Psalm because it contains the promises of God for our days in the valley.
The valley is filled with a variety of shadows that try to cover us. there is the shadow of despair, the shadow of discouragement, defeat, difficulty, doubt, division and even death.
Five years ago our nation seemed to walk in the very shadow of death. This morning I want to look at some of the promises of God for our days in the valley.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
I. Even in the valley God surrounds us - We have companionship
Look at the words of David: You are with me. There is no doubt what David is saying here. Even in the lowest times of his life, God was right beside him. One of the most precious promises in all of scripture is that whatever we go through in life, we never go through it alone. God is with us.