9-11, A Day in Infamy – Pt. 3 Out of the Ashes
On Sunday, the tenth anniversary of 9-11, the families of the fallen are invited to visit the Ground Zero Memorial. Undisturbed by tourists, they’re able to stroll among the white oak trees. They’re free to reflect on their loss as the fountains flow into the footprints of the Twin Towers.
Anthoula Katsimatides’ brother John worked on the 104th floor of Tower One. She gave this comment to a news reporter. “I’m so absolutely gratified that this place of darkness and chaos has been transformed into a place of light and grace and beauty. It fills me with hope.”
Hope has a way of transforming ashes to beauty. As our Christian Embassy team reaches out to the diplomats and their wives, we discover how deeply they’ve been affected by 9-11. As they share their condolences, we detect their fear and confusion. Isn’t America supposed to be the safest place in the world? I’ll never forget the comment made by one of the wives. “If this can happen in America, what will happen to the rest of us?”
Our team prays for wisdom as to how we can minister spiritually to these people we’ve grown to love. On behalf of the three ministries to the UN, we quickly fax an invitation to the diplomats to come together for prayer on Friday, the 14th. Fifty people gather to pray and focus on God and His Word during our time of need.
God gave me the idea to write a Bible study called Hope at Ground Zero. The women on our team send invitations for the wives of the diplomats to attend. On the first day of the study, our regulars arrive eager to connect with us and each other. And then to our surprise, ladies show up who’ve never come to a Christian Embassy event. There’s a Buddhist from East Asia, a Hindu woman from India and an atheist from Eastern Europe. Over the next six weeks, we study God’s Word in light of 9-11. The women are responsive and especially open. God is working. We know this because He says His Word will achieve the purpose for which He sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
With intent to destroy, the terrorists have attacked the business and financial symbol of our society. They’ve attacked the political and military realms, as well. However, they cannot thwart God’s purpose. (Proverbs 19:21) And God’s Word clearly states the gates of hell cannot prevail against His people. (Matthew 16:18)
Some may ask, “Where was God on 9-11?” HE WAS THERE! God was there in the midst of the fire and the crumbling Twin Towers. No one but He knows the stories behind His actions that day. Surely He held, soothed and comforted those who cried out to Him. How do we know this? Because this is the kind of God He is. He was ever present in their time of trouble. And He promises to be ever present in the time of our troubles, as well. (Psalm 46:1)
“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”
How can we turn the aftermath of evil to an afterglow of goodness, mercy and hope? In order to answer this question, perhaps we should ask ourselves the following:
- Why am I here?
- Why has God spared my life up to this point in time?
- What is God’s purpose for my life during the time I have left on this earth?
- How can I make a difference in my sphere of influence?
As we consider these questions, will you agree to pray this prayer with me?
“Take my life, God and set it apart for your purpose. Show me the way you want me to go and help me to walk in it. Amen.”
(Check the Crumbs section for scriptures we can embrace when we suffer pain, loss or confusion. God will speak to us through His Word to remind us HE CARES! HE CALLS! HE HEALS! And HE IS SOVEREIGN!)