This past summer, we took a family vacation to Dallas, Texas. Dallas is rich in historical sites, such as the Sixth Floor Museum dedicated to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jr. We saw the X on the road where the bullet struck JFK, and then we saw the preserved corner of the building where Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have fired those shots. We heard archived video footage of the events of that day leading up to the assassination, as well as the first reports that the young president had died.
We also visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library, housed at Southern Methodist University. As we moved through the museum, we saw memorabilia dedicated to President Bush’s love of baseball, and to Mrs. Bush’s love of children’s literature. We saw cowboy boots and autographed copies of books. We saw priceless gifts from the leaders of other nations. But as we rounded a corner, we saw something actually quite ugly – twisted steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center.
On September 11, 2001, seventeen years ago today, I went to work at an office in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. My husband was a seminary student, and he had classes part of the day, but was at home for a while that morning studying. I worked for a company that managed an online library database. One entire section of our company was dedicated to newspapers and news services. Much of our work relied on the use of the internet.
That morning, as we were going about our typical day, we got an email from a colleague in the newspaper division telling us that an airplane had flown into a building in New York City, and so many people across the world were on the internet trying to find out information that it was affecting our ability to work.
Needless to say, no one was going to do much work that day anyway.
I called my husband at home to tell him what had happened. Like many of you reading this, we spent the rest of the day glued to our television sets, hearing of one airplane … and then another … and then another … and then another. I had a doctor’s appointment after work that day, and I sat in the waiting room watching the television as 7 World Trade Center collapsed. It was an unimaginable tragedy on what began as a typical Tuesday.
Our generation’s view of the world was forever changed on that average day in September 2001.
As we walked through the 9/11 exhibit in the Bush library this past summer, it all came flooding back – watching those horrific moments as airplanes crashed into buildings. Watching people, dazed and covered in black soot, emerge from the rubble, hearing story after story of heroism, of people who gave their lives so that others might live. I was reminded again that both good and evil exist in this fallen and sinful world.
But I was also reminded of this essential truth – God reigns over it all. Psalm 20:7 tells us, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
In the aftermath of 9/11, we came together as a nation to stand with the fallen and with the heroes, but ever since then, we have been a nation politically divided by many issues. And while it is important to take part in our government system, “by the people and for the people,” as the people of God we must remember that our hope is not in our military or in our political parties, but is in the One who ordained the stars in the sky, made the mountains to rise, and created the deepest parts of the oceans.
Our hope for our nation is not in a president, senator, or representative, but in the God who holds the future in His hand. If God should allow another terror attack on our nation, or if economic systems crumble, or if chaos seems to reign, we can still place our hope and trust in Jehovah God above all else.
He is trustworthy.
And we can trust that He has our best in His heart and mind.
Today, as we remember the events that unfolded on another average Tuesday seventeen years ago, we remember, and we thank God for His provision for our nation. We also bow before Him, knowing that all we are, all we have, and all we need is found in Him.