• Jill Jarrell Newsome

A Lot Has Happened 9/10/21

In some ways it seems like it was thirty years ago and in some ways it seems like yesterday. Twenty years later, as you, I still remember where I was when the airplane hit the first twin tower. Mike was at work and my girls were at school. I was on the phone with a friend from church. While I was trying to tell them what had happened, I said, “oh no, another plane just hit the other tower!” My friend said that was just a replay, but sadly, a second plane had hit the second tower. We all walked around stunned! That night the tears started, worrying about the world my girl’s were going to grow up in. I worried about my family’s safety. A dark blanket of grief and confusion fell on our country and we struggled emotionally. Finally, I realized this was out of my control and I turned to God and trusted His Word. Here I am again.


When I look at our world situation I find myself more fearful. I remember Billy Graham’s words three days after the twin tower attacks. “We’ve seen so much that brings tears to our eyes and makes us all feel a sense of anger. But God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.” Even if we know and trust God, we can be shaken by world events. On the first anniversary of the attacks, Charles Stanley wrote, “Safety in this world is an illusion. Sadly, the peace and blessing we have experienced in America has led to much complacency and self-dependence. Sometimes we need to be shaken out of our forgetfulness and into reliance upon Jesus Christ.” We were definitely shaken and I was going to have to rely on God! As some things in life can do, I was taught that day, again, tomorrow is not promised. James 4: 14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”


Since then we have seen more tragedies, including COVID, and, again, we ask, “how could this happen?” We have one question for God and that is “why”? There is so much we do not understand and may never understand. But the one thing I do know is that God is good. All the time! He does not plan evil. Jeremiah 29: 11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” As always, God brings good from bad situations. Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I recall the country pulling together as one. Some of us realized that the nice homes, nice cars and dreams we had been chasing were not important. We were living out 1 John 2: 16-17, “For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” John came to understand that serving God was more important than his earthly desires.


Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 6: 17-19, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” The real treasures in life are those that we will see when we get to Heaven.


A lot has changed since 9-11 but one thing remains the same, no matter what happens. Hebrews 13: 8, “ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We will never be alone and God will never leave us. Deuteronomy 31: 6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


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