"I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2
Today is the day Americans call Patriot Day. Eight years ago, a terrible attack was led by un-Godly men on our soil, and thousands of people lost their lives that day. Like most people, I still remember that day so, so clearly. I remember sitting on the living room floor, playing with Abigail while the Today show blared in the background. Andy was hustling about, getting ready to leave for work. (Heh, how about that dear, once upon a time you didn't have to be at work until 9:00 in the morning!) We were celebrating out second wedding anniversary that day, and while we didn't have any specific plans, we were aware of the specialness of the day. I glanced at the TV and saw a live picture where an airplane had just hit the first tower. Andy was about to head out the door and I made him pause for a second and see it- we had just watched within a few days a documentary on History or Discovery about a pilot who had flown a small plane into the WTC tower many years ago. I made a comment to Andy about some schmuck doing it again- we both kind of chuckled and he headed out the door to go to work.
It didn't take long for the gravity of the situation to set in. The rest of my morning was spent trying to keep 1 year old Abigail happy playing on the floor while I just stared at the TV. Tears came more than once, and after a few phone calls to my husband at work, his whole office decided to take the rest of the day off. I remember how much more secure I felt having my husband at home with us. At the time, we were not attending church, but I remember having a serious desire to go to a church and spend time praying, but we didn't have a church to call home, and so we didn't go anywhere. I clearly remember the fear that was in my heart that day, and the days to come. I remember seeing the list of people who were on the airplanes, and seeing one couple in particular who had their two-year old daughter on the plane with them. As I held my one-year old, I could not imagine, holding her in my lap, knowing we were about to die in a horrific way.
What I can't imagine now, is walking around with that fear still in my heart. Thank God for His peace which passes all understanding!
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
With the peace of God in my heart and my mind, the terrorists and their master will never win. In my heart and in my mind, it would be very easy to think about the events of that day, and be gripped with fear of some kind. I find I can even apply this in other areas. I'm often home alone in the evenings with the kids. It doesn't take much- some random noise outside- to get my heart beating a little faster, and my mind starts playing all kinds of tricks on me of potential doom. I find that when I take a minute though to pray, and thank God for his protection, that His peace immediately flows through me and I am calm and still once again. Not only do I rest in His peace and His protection, but I also rest in the fact that my help comes from the Lord!
I know that if something were to happen beyond our control that God is IN control. God knows where we are and exactly what we need. We've seen this firsthand before. We've seen as God sent angels to hold a wheel on our van as we careened down the highway at 75 miles and hour. We've seen as God sent a semi truck to block our way and protect us from the tornado that was passing by- and we had no idea about until we saw the horrendous path of destruction just five miles later. And we've seen more recently as we hit a deer head on with our van, and miraculously, no one was hurt- and the van, while cosmetically challenged, rolled away with no damage to the engine. Our help comes from the Lord in all situations.
My heart is filled with gratitude this morning. I am praying for those who are still being affected so terribly by the events eight years ago- I am praying that God's peace will wrap them up this morning and comfort them, and take away that stress and that pain of all those years ago. Yet my heart is filled with gratitude towards our God who sends His peace and His comfort daily, because without it, I would be lost. I lift up my eyes to the hills daily, and bask in the joy of the Lord, which is my strength, and my ever-present help in trouble.
Thank you God for this beautiful country we live in. May YOUR peace sweep the country this morning, may YOUR serenity fill the hearts of every man, woman,and child this morning as they remember that horrible day eight years ago. Bless this country once again, Dear God, and bless us all with your never-ending peace and joy.