Gather strength from Lord during 9/11 anniversary

By Debra Whittington

Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My
soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. This I recall
to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are
not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every
morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:19-23

Looking at the calendar, I saw another holiday in September that wasn’t
there a few years ago. Known as Patriot Day, the day commemorates almost
3000 people who lost their lives in terrorist attacks on American soil on
September 11, 2001. Signed into public record on December 18, 2001 by
President Bush, the holiday reminds us of how quickly lives can change.

In
my column during the week of September 11, I wrote about the events that
transpired. The following is a portion of that column which began with 2
Corinthians 4: 6-10. “… We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast
down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the
Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

“Oh, dear Lord, this can’t be happening!” “Dear Lord Jesus, wake me up
from this nightmare!” My prayers went heavenward as I watched in disbelief
the scenes of utter destruction on television after a friend called me and
told me to turn it on. In my wildest dreams, I never thought our country
could come under a terrorism attack like this.

I wrote another column for this week, but in the wake of this disaster, I
sit at my computer watching the events unfold on television and all the
while praying for the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts in an effort to
comfort others and myself.

Before I sat down, I got alone from all distractions and prayed. I prayed
for the victims, the rescue workers, survivors, our government leaders,
and our country. All morning, I remained in a state of prayer, but needed
a few moments to get alone with the Lord and shut out the world.

Still shaking, I wonder how could such a thing happen? How could so many
things happen all at once resulting in who knows how many innocent lives
lost? For days to come, we will all be trying to come to grips with what
has happened, an attack on our own home soil.

President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941 as a day that “will
live in infamy.” September 11, 2001 will be remembered as the worst
terrorist attack in our country’s history. While we had a known enemy to
blame in 1941, at this time our country has a faceless enemy.

We are told that we face an enemy that is neither flesh and blood. While
individuals took part in this attack, our unseen enemy, Lucifer and his
demons, guided them. In Ephesians 6:12 we are told that we fight against “
rulers of the darkness of this world.”

That being the case, how do we fight back?

Where possible, people are helping with rescue efforts and donating blood.
Here in Tucumcari, we can pray as we have never prayed before and be
prepared to respond when asked. While we are outraged at this travesty, it
is important that we stay on track as Christians.

Romans 12:1-3 tells us to present ourselves to God as a “living
sacrifice”. We are soldiers in the army of God and are involved in a
spiritual war. The events of September 11, 2001 are an outward sign of the
spiritual war that is going on. We are not alone in this war. (Matthew
28:20) We know the eventual outcome of this spiritual battle. (John 16:33)
I pray that all of us will take hope and strength from the words of our
Lord. May we join together in praying without ceasing.

Now, five years later, we are still in the middle of a spiritual war that
will continue until the end of time. Five years ago, people filled the
churches and prayed. They turned back to God with a new zeal and
recommitment. Then something happened as complacency once again set in and
people returned to the way they were before.

Lamentations 3 tells us of the Lord’s great faithfulness. He sustained us
through the events of that fateful day in September and He will continue
to sustain us. Why then do so many people only turn to Him in times of
tragedy? Will you be in church this next Lord’s Day?