Today is the 15th Anniversary of one of the most dreadful days in American history… 9/11.
So much has been written and read… I don’t know that I have much to add other than my personal story and my personal call to action.
My story is one of a distant bystander.
That fateful morning I had a lazy morning at home. I had the day off and was lounging in my pj’s, reading the latest home decor magazines, enjoying a cup of tea, and watching the “Today Show” on TV.
It was a most spectacular day with the brightest blue sky and I had plans to get outside and enjoy every single moment.
And then, I looked up from my magazine when I heard Katie Couric show a video of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. What a crazy thing.
I picked up my phone and called my husband to tell him what I had just seen.
That morning I never got out of my pajamas. I sat on the floor, glued to the TV. The tea went unfinished, the magazines lay in a pile, and the sun, in juxtaposition to the events unfolding, continued to shine.
There I still sat when my husband walked in the door at lunch time.
I had lost all track of time. My heart was heavy. I cried out to God to stop it. To save every person in NYC. And to protect our nation.
I’m pretty sure we never ate lunch.
Nothing seemed important.
And whatever else happened that day seemed to become meaningless.
The wind had been knocked out of our spirits.
We were numb.
But, we never quit praying.
Prayer… outside of obedience… it the most powerful thing we can do.
And since we’re doers… we absolutely MUST pray.
I’m reminded of the scripture we taught “our” kids…
When a believing person prays, great things happen.
Today… as we remember… we MUST pray.
Pray as if our lives depend upon our prayers, because frankly, it is our prayers that will make the biggest difference right now.
Our nation is at a pivotal time in history. I don’t think there is anyone who will disagree with that statement.
What to do about it… that’s another story and one where there’re lots of discussions.
This isn’t the time for either of us to wring our hands and dig a shelter.
This is the time to remember… to worship the Lord… to serve others… and get down on our knees and pray.
If we want God to work in our nation we must first begin with an introspective look.
As His followers… we need to acknowledge our sin and ask for forgiveness.
We need to consciously put God first… not our wants and convenience…
We need to develop hearts who worship God and depend on Him.
We need to serve the people God has placed in our lives.
If we take a moment to look back in the Old Testament we’ll get a picture of what God desires for His people.
Though these scriptures below are speaking specifically to Israel… since we are joint heirs with Jesus once we’ve chosen to follow Him, and since Jesus is a descendant of David… these words are as true for us today as when they were given to and by Moses.
Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you, and write them on your doors and gates.
Respect the Lord your God. You must worship him and make your promises only in his name. Do not worship other gods as the people around you do, because the Lord your God is a jealous God. He is present with you, and if you worship other gods, he will become angry with you and destroy you from the earth. Do not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah. Be sure to obey the commands of the Lord your God and the rules and laws he has given you. Do what the Lord says is good and right so that things will go well for you.
The right thing for us to do is this: Obey all these rules in the presence of the Lord our God, as he has commanded.”
When Jesus came He didn’t come to make more rules for us to follow, instead, His response to the Pharisees, who loved rules, boiled everything down to what matters most. Loving God and then loving each other.
“Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.
I may be a bit naive, but I truly believe that each of us has the power of God within us as Jesus followers to turn our nation at this critical hour.
First, we need to be sold-out worshipers of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, if we have unforgiveness that we’re harboring in our hearts, we absolutely must confess it and ask the Lord for forgiveness. If we don’t, it will become an obstacle to prevent the flow of God’s power, love, and mercy.
If we truly love God we need to live like it. It’s so easy to put people and position and stuff ahead of God. All of us do it. Let’s encourage each other to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and to live in gratitude and praise and devotion to Him alone.
And… with this love we’ve been given… we must love others. First, we start with our immediate families and then to fellow believers and then to our neighbors and others who share the planet with us. (We must not get this out of order.)
Then… then we must pray.
When a believing person prays, great things happen.
Pray expectantly, pray in the spirit, pray with the power you have been given in Christ Jesus. And don’t give up.
If our nation experiences a transformation, it must first come from and through believers.
God will not work outside of His people.
It’s through our faithfulness and willingness that He will transform our nation.
In this day and time… this is not for the faint of heart…
But, don’t worry. God will give you all the faith you need to believe.
Are you up for the task?
Do you want to see America transformed?
Are you ready to see God move in ways the Western World has never seen?
And time to get our joy meters soaring!
Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful. This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks in community is something we do each week to reset our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord.
Thank you, God for…
- a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day with Tim, including a surprise picnic.
- the wonderful rain and thunder in the distance. (Though 3 inches might be a bit much.)
- my geraniums that are looking springtime fresh again.
- the anticipation of a visit with my dear friends.
- for knowing YOU are at work, fighting for us.
- for future grace… keep us strong as we wait on You.
Now…it’s YOUR turn!
List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.
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