Philippians 2:20a;4:1 – But our citizenship is in heaven…. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for… stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! (NIV)
September 11, 2001: "The day the world changed." The words ring in my ears, terror in North America! I study the faces in the airport lounge as they stare in disbelief at the pictures on the full-sized television screen. No one speaks; people move silently; the impact of the horror is beginning to register.
Flashes of other 'unreal incidents' crowd my thoughts, the Kennedy assassinations, the Gulf War. Somehow I need to make sense of this scene. I leave the airport and drive aimlessly down the highway. Here things appear normal, but when I go into the tourist bureau in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, a continent away from the devastation on the east coast, I find the ripple effect has reached this coast already. Tourists are being diverted from the United States; accommodation is filling up fast; car rentals are sold out. People are frantically calling home to hear a familiar voice.
"What is the answer, God? Where are you?"
I drive up and down the mountain road and stop at a Provincial Park. Majestic trees and mountains frame the pristine lake below and invite me to stop and take in God's beauty. Birds are singing; squirrels chatter.
In the stillness, I hear His voice. "I understand your feelings, Elaine. The day the terrorists nailed my Son to a tree, the world changed too. That was really the darkest day, the day the penalty for sin was paid." And in that moment, I am reminded of God's own promise to His people: "Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away." (Luke 21:33 NIV)
I am comforted.
Prayer: Today, I pray for those who are hurting. Remind each person of your everlasting love and your plan for eternal life through the gift of your Son, Jesus. Amen.