Like most Americans I am thinking back to 9/11 today. Tara and I were in the offices of Peacemaker Ministries standing next to one another watching CNN report the attack. Having been to war twice for America (Vietnam and Desert Storm) I was responding with a quiet rage to the breaking news that day. Tara later told me she saw my anger below the surface; but now I was an old man, no longer able to defend the country I once served in uniform.
Twin towers; 9/11; death … our country once again called to war through a homeland attack.
There is another 9/11 that speaks of twins and of eternal destiny. Romans 9:11: Yet before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad — in order that God’s purpose in election might stand…”
God’s purpose in election…
This verse labeled 9:11 speaks, of course, of God’s sovereign reign over one’s soul unto eternal salvation. It speaks of his independence in that choice apart from anything you or I could ever do to earn his favor. On September 11, 2001, God was still in control. He watched over every soul that perished that day. He knew who were his from eternity just as it says in Ephesians 1:4-6: For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
Yes, I was angry and my rage boiled below the surface, but God knew who was eternally safe even though on that day ten years ago they left the tent of this flesh (2 Cor. 5:5) to be clothed in eternal life. He was in control and I did not have to fret.
Living between the past and the future is my challenge just as it all of ours. On this Patriot’s Day what should be first in our hearts and minds? Certainly we think of those who left us, but do we not also think of yet another 9/11? Psalm 9/11: Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.
We can still sing his praises even as we mourn. And we know that in eternity all things will be made right … for the next verse says: For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted (Psalm 9:12).
While I am no longer a warrior I can be sure that a far more able warrior will avenge. And I am at peace with that! May you who lost so much on that day also know his peace; the peace that passes all understanding.