I just got out of a prayer service at Valley Church in West Des Moines.  All day I’ve been thinking back to that day.  I still remember it vividly.

I was the Dean of Students at South Haven Christian School near Portage, IN.  I had only been working there for three weeks.  We were into our first period class, I was teaching a high school guys’ Bible class when a co-worker came into the classroom to tell me what had happened.  We were confused to be sure.

When we learned that the second tower was hit and then the Pentagon was also hit we were pretty sure that we had been attacked.  We called all of the students together to pray.  We heard at that time there was another plane still in the air that had likely been hijacked.  We prayed for our nation, for the families of those who perished, for those who had been injured.  We prayed for the first responders.  We prayed for God to protect those still in harm’s way.  We prayed for that plane still in the air which we later learned was Flight 93 which crashed as the passengers tried to take back control of the plane from the terrorists.

Many students cried, many were shell shocked, and all of us horrified at such a  disregard for human life.  Following it though I remember the pride I felt in my country through the sacrifice of the first responders, and how average citizens risked their lives to help others in need.  I remember the generosity that was poured out in resources and time.  I also remember the collective grief that was felt throughout the nation and much of the world.  I also remember how we came together in that grief with resolve to overcome this dark moment in our history.

Let’s never forget.  Never forget the sacrifice.  Never forget the struggle that continues.  Never forget the troops who have given much and some even their lives in the War on Terror.  Also, let’s not forget it is ultimately God who has kept us safe.  He is our Protector and Shield.  He is our Refuge and Fortress as the Psalmist writes:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation,” (Psalm 91:1-16, ESV).

12 comments
  1. That was a traumatic day for all of us Shane. The imagery of those buildings on fire and falling is etched in our heads to this day.

    I was with you until you said..

    “it is ultimately God who has kept us safe”

    ..I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on God keeping people safe and what that safety looks like.

    Thx, Bob

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..No More Sorrow

  2. That was a traumatic day for all of us Shane. The imagery of those buildings on fire and falling is etched in our heads to this day.

    I was with you until you said..

    “it is ultimately God who has kept us safe”

    ..I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on God keeping people safe and what that safety looks like.

    Thx, Bob

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..No More Sorrow

  3. That was a traumatic day for all of us Shane. The imagery of those buildings on fire and falling is etched in our heads to this day.

    I was with you until you said..

    “it is ultimately God who has kept us safe”

    ..I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on God keeping people safe and what that safety looks like.

    Thx, Bob

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..No More Sorrow

  4. Good question Bob it was a rather broad statement and I should have explained it further.

    Sometimes as believers when we are in the center of God’s will we are not “safe” humanly speaking.

    Also tragedy still occurs because their is sin in the world and believers get caught up in that because we are still in the world.

    So I don’t mean to imply that we are untouchable or nothing bad will happen to us.

    I also don’t want to imply that the U.S. has some special blessing from God.

    What I meant is that ultimately the seven years of no terrorist attacks on our soil we can thank God for. I’m thankful for our military and law enforcement agencies that have worked to keep us safe as well, but ultimately it is God who is our protector and shield.

    For the believer and unbeliever alike – his “common grace”.

    Does that make sense?

  5. Good question Bob it was a rather broad statement and I should have explained it further.

    Sometimes as believers when we are in the center of God’s will we are not “safe” humanly speaking.

    Also tragedy still occurs because their is sin in the world and believers get caught up in that because we are still in the world.

    So I don’t mean to imply that we are untouchable or nothing bad will happen to us.

    I also don’t want to imply that the U.S. has some special blessing from God.

    What I meant is that ultimately the seven years of no terrorist attacks on our soil we can thank God for. I’m thankful for our military and law enforcement agencies that have worked to keep us safe as well, but ultimately it is God who is our protector and shield.

    For the believer and unbeliever alike – his “common grace”.

    Does that make sense?

  6. Good question Bob it was a rather broad statement and I should have explained it further.

    Sometimes as believers when we are in the center of God’s will we are not “safe” humanly speaking.

    Also tragedy still occurs because their is sin in the world and believers get caught up in that because we are still in the world.

    So I don’t mean to imply that we are untouchable or nothing bad will happen to us.

    I also don’t want to imply that the U.S. has some special blessing from God.

    What I meant is that ultimately the seven years of no terrorist attacks on our soil we can thank God for. I’m thankful for our military and law enforcement agencies that have worked to keep us safe as well, but ultimately it is God who is our protector and shield.

    For the believer and unbeliever alike – his “common grace”.

    Does that make sense?

  7. Makes sense to me Shane.. thanks for the follow-up.

    I wish that faith protected us from painful experiences. What I have found is that, to a degree, faith protects us when we are in painful situations.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..No More Sorrow

  8. Makes sense to me Shane.. thanks for the follow-up.

    I wish that faith protected us from painful experiences. What I have found is that, to a degree, faith protects us when we are in painful situations.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..No More Sorrow

  9. Makes sense to me Shane.. thanks for the follow-up.

    I wish that faith protected us from painful experiences. What I have found is that, to a degree, faith protects us when we are in painful situations.

    Kansas Bobs last blog post..No More Sorrow

  10. You are right that faith protects us when we are in painful circumstances. Amen to that.

    Sometimes being in the center of God’s will means entering into painful circumstances. Being in “unsafe” waters. Taking a risk as well.

  11. You are right that faith protects us when we are in painful circumstances. Amen to that.

    Sometimes being in the center of God’s will means entering into painful circumstances. Being in “unsafe” waters. Taking a risk as well.

  12. You are right that faith protects us when we are in painful circumstances. Amen to that.

    Sometimes being in the center of God’s will means entering into painful circumstances. Being in “unsafe” waters. Taking a risk as well.

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