I remember where I was, who I was with and what I was doing. I just returned home from dropping my two precious sons off at their elementary school. When I walked in the door, I could hear the television on, with a newscaster's voice detailing a terrible accident in New York City, New York. My husband was sitting quietly on the couch, watching and listening intently as one of the Twin Towers was burning because an airplane had crashed into it. It seemed surreal.
I stood there confused, "How can an airplane accidentally hit a building?" Just as I was thinking this, 18 minutes after the first plane crashed into the north tower, I see another plane crash right into the the south tower. This was no accident. I wept and dropped to my knees and began praying. I prayed, wept and watched. I listened intently to the newscasters and my heart broke for all those innocent people in the airplane, in the building and for their families.
But it wasn't over.
At 9:45 a.m. another airplane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Just before 10:00 a.m. the south tower of the World Trade Center came crashing down. Then approximately 30 minutes later, the north tower fell. It was unbelievable and terrifying. There was fire, smoke, people jumping out of buildings, screaming and chaos everywhere. The whitish-tan plume of debris chased the people on the streets and covered everyone and everything in its path with ashes.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed from the terrorists' attack on the World Trade Center Towers;125 were killed from the attack on the Pentagon and 45 people were killed from the hijacking of United Flight 93. Due to some truly brave souls, this plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania because unlike the cowardly terrorists, the passengers on Flight 93, sought to save lives not take ruthlessly take them.
No righteous, no good, no courageous person takes innocent people hostage and forces them to play a cruel part in a maleficent errand. No soldier takes the lives of unarmed civilians.
The world is a mess. That's really the simplest and most accurate way to put it. With such wicked terror groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS); Christian beatings, imprisonments and killings in many parts of the world; and the beginnings of Christian persecutions in our country with the increased sympathy for immoral living—the world is truly a mess.
But thankfully, there is God.
God is sovereign, God is good and thankfully He doesn't govern His creation by the crooked and fickle standards of this world. No. Thankfully God governs our world by His righteous, just and wise standards. He governs every creature in accordance with His good and perfect will. And He governs, protects, disciplines and sanctifies His children by the power of His Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Therefore, we dread not the mess of this world, but we rejoice in the sovereignty of God.
Without the Gospel of Peace, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only name in which anyone can be saved; without knowing God and being known by Him, there is no true hope, peace or joy for anyone.
None of us are guaranteed our next breath. None of us knows our last day. Only God knows.
This world could and would be a scary and lonely place to live in if not for the sovereignty, the kindness and compassion of God. If it weren't for the Almighty's restraint on the evil of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 there would've been more casualties and more heartaches. And if not for God's restraint on evil more than 2,000 years ago, by sending His one and only Son to earth, to live a sinless life, die the cruelest death and resurrect, ascending in power and glory, there would be no hope of Heaven for anyone...only pain, sorrow and horror upon horror.
But because of God's great kindness and mercy, He didn't allow the evil of 9/11 to prevail. And He didn't allow the evil and captivity of sin to prevail either. Rather, in God's mercy and grace, He placed the punishment of our sins upon His Son and offered to His enemies (that would be all of us) the gift of eternal life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ the Lord.
On 9/11, and more than 2,000 years ago, the Lord of hosts provided tangible comfort to despondent souls, aid to the needy and peace to the frightened.
As we remember what happened 13 years ago today, let us also remember what happened more than 2,000 years ago. Let us never forget how frail our lives are, and how gracious, powerful and good God is—that He would send His one and only Son to die for us, so we can live for and with Him, now and forevermore.
I remember the terror and devastation of 9/11. But more so, I remember God; and the hope and life found only in Jesus Christ the Lord.