As I write this, it is September 11. Eighteen years ago today, nearly 3,000 civilians, soldiers, police and firefighters lost or gave their lives during the coordinated attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In subsequent years, roughly half a million more lives have been given or taken in the “War on Terror,” and this number continues to climb.
September 11 is a reminder to me that this earth is under siege. In the constant onslaught of media coverage, flag-draped coffins and unmarked graves, every new day seems to offer us 100 more reasons to fear and tremble.
However, I suspect that for many of you, September 11 has an altogether different effect. Do you feel a new clarity? Beyond the near field of disaster, do you see the promise on the horizon? All this senseless tragedy points to a singular day in the near future. Our Creator and Redeemer is coming. For those who remember the divine blessings that will someday swallow up the curse, the winds of strife and change billow your sails and focus your determination to hasten His appearing. “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed” (Rom. 13:11 NASB).