Today, September 11th, is Patriot Day. It was signed into law by President Bush shortly after September 11th, 2001 and the awful acts of terrorism and subsequent loss that our nation faced on that fateful day.
Do I remember that day? Yes. Like many people who were old enough to see the live footage and understand it, I remember it all too well. I was stunned. Absolutely stunned. And I grieved along with many thousands as the number of lives lost rapidly climbed higher. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost that day, the majority of them, basically all of them, civilians. People who should not have died -- that's what all of us left alive would likely say. It was an awful, awful day.
There was one bright spot to me that day. I thought of the people who were not truly alone as they faced the ultimate fear, the tragedy, the death. I thought of those who knew that God was with them. I also thought of those who did not know He was . . . . and yet, He was right there the whole time. Even as "strong towers," the mountains made by man crumbled and fell away and the works of man failed, He was there. It reminded me of the verse, one of many that is such a profound and beautiful promise for the children of God, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." Psalms 46:1
It seems, as I prayed for all of those personally facing such a horrific scenario, that I was also reminded that there is no place that one of God's children can go that He is not there with them. The scripture that always comes to mind for proof of this amazing fact is from one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible, Psalms 139. "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; If I make my bed in the depths, you are there....If I say "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Psalms 139:7,8,11
September 11th, 2001 was a dark day in every respect. And yet, even in the midst of the schemes of darkened hearts being carried out in one of the most awful days in our nation's history, God remained the Light. God was there through it all, for no one, not a single soul, can flee from His presence. This knowledge helped me to feel at peace for all those whose lives were not lost in the eternal sense -- for all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:21) Thank God for that, and for the peace it brings.
Remembering 9/11 with all who still remember.....with all who lost.....and in honor of all who perished.