A Strong Foundation

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
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Listen while you read: "Wonderful Words Of Life"1 (Lyrics)

As the anniversary of 9/11 arrives once again, I recall visiting New York City on Remembrance Day just two months after the tragedy.

On other trips, our senses were assaulted by flashing neon lights and the ear-splitting noise of honking taxis. This time, a quiet sombreness pervaded the crowded city. We could smell smoke before we arrived. Grey ashes covered sidewalks, roofs, and grass. We were not prepared for the emotional scene of so many photographs of missing persons. The chain-link fence erected around Ground Zero was plastered with cards, flowers, and candles. We saw an ash-coated bicycle chained by the road, its owner never to return.

As we neared the site of devastation, pedestrians became so quiet that footsteps were all that could be heard. Along with hundreds of others, we surveyed the scene in shocked silence. A young boy had climbed a post for a better view. Cameras were passed up to him. Without a word, he snapped a picture and passed them back down. It was a strange thing in a city where one would normally hesitate to hand their camera to a stranger.

When we moved away, a fire truck came along, hosing the roads. The men hung off the side, looking exhausted. In a surreal moment, people stopped to clap. A few voices called out thanks. Some of the fire fighters waved or smiled, but it was obvious that they had nothing left to give.

Isaiah 9:10 – The bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with cut stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars. (HCSB)

In his bestseller, The Harbinger, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn points out that shortly after 9/11, a stone was cut from mountains to create a symbolic cornerstone of the rebuilding, just as Isaiah prophesied centuries before. Political leaders made speeches, unintentionally using the very words of the prophet. The words of judgement on Israel, a nation in spiritual decline, were used in defiance by Americans waging war on terror: We will rebuild.

Cedars were planted to replace a fallen sycamore tree that had been standing outside St. Paul's Chapel, shielding it from harm. In 1789, on the day of his inauguration, George Washington, America's first president, led the Senate to St. Paul's and dedicated the country to God. St. Paul's owned the field where the World Trade Centre was built. Ground Zero is the site of America's consecration.

The attack on the United States was a warning. God's warnings awaken and save us, rather than condemn us. Like birth pains, they become stronger and more frequent. Attempting to build anything in our own strength, whether it be a house, family, business, church, tower, or even a nation, is not the answer. Let us be wise and build on the Word of God, our rock and our salvation.

Psalm 62:2 – He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (NIV)

Matthew 7:25 – The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (NIV)

Prayer: Almighty God, You call us to be watchmen like Isaiah. Shake and awaken us, that we may submit to You, worship You with reverence, and build our house upon the Rock. Amen.

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About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie86@gmail.com>
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Great words, JJ.

    Amen J.J. Well said.

    Very thought-provoking.
    Thank you.

    Thank you so much for the touching devotional.
    (Mississippi USA)

    Wow! Very interesting details to be sure. Thanks for writing this devotion.

    Thank you for a very moving devotional today on the 911 anniversary. If only God’s people will listen NOW. God Bless.

    A great homily for today. Thank you so much. It gave me shivers just reading your description of that day in New York.

    Dear JJ,
    Touching and powerful, as I recall 9/11. I pray that our nation, as a whole, turns back to God.

    Hello JJ,
    Great devotional. Jesus truly is our rock. Trusting in Him is our most solid foundation.
    Thank you for writing.

    Dear JJ,
    Thank you for a powerful message of reconstruction and hope.
    We pray for love, not hate, for peace, not attacks, in all the world.
    And especially for the growth of God’s kingdom on earth.
    Keep writing for Jesus sake.

    What an experience you had. We have a friend who was in the building just before it collapsed. He luckily got out. First Responders were pointing where to go as, at that time, they did not know where the building would fall. Along his way others would say run. He lived 10 miles (not metric) away. He ran until he was home. He said it was a terrible feeling. He felt like all the tall buildings had eyes and legs and were going to chase them. When they got back to work in another building it was fearful to be in or near a tall building again. He is now retired but you never forget.

    JJ, Thank you for writing so bravely about that terrible day. Right after the first plane hit, my tearful daughter called me in Canada from the States to ask for prayer for our nations and all who died. At that point, no one knew a second and then a third plane would strike their targets, but due to heroic acts by passengers, the fourth plane slammed into a field in Pennsylvania instead of hitting its intended target. Suicidal maniacs bent on evil action had taken control of the crews and cockpits. These religious zealots of destruction wanted to shatter our democracy like lives and buildings were shattered. Evil people may plot, but they will never win the ultimate battle as long as the Lord Jesus reigns in our lives. Again, thanks for writing! Blessings.

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