2001-09-14 - Facing the Facts
In the last few days, we have been going through one of the most devastating times in our nation's history - second only to the Battle of Antietam in the number of lives lost. Our hearts break for the loved ones of those who have died. We at Webservants Ministries offer our heartfelt sympathy and prayers for all who lost loved ones in this tragedy, and for those who are still unaccounted for. There are no words that we can say, that will adequately express this.
We thought we were safe. But the fact is that we were not. Every time I fly, I see our security workers checking some luggage by hand, and people's bodies being "searched" with the wands. But the fact is that somehow, in spite of all our security procedures, the terrorists circumvented our safeguards, fashioned weapons and used them.
We thought (some of us) that people think like us. We didn't conceive that someone could have so much hatred inculcated in them, that they could nonchalantly take the lives of thousands of people at once, and consider that a heroic act. But the fact is, that to those who perpetrated this act, they did nothing wrong. They believed they were on the "right" side. They even believed they were serving their god. They believed so strongly in the rightness of their cause, that they willingly gave their lives for it.
We want revenge, and that's understandable. Some people no longer have mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, friends. And we should exact justice, prayerfully. But the fact is that we also should pray for the associates and loved ones of these terrorists. Jesus' words are clear. We are not to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, unless they kill innocent people" (Matthew 5:44, NAS). We are to "love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us," period. I admit this is one of the most difficult prayers I have ever prayed. I do NOT want to pray for these people. The "feeling" is not there. But I am praying for them, for that is what our Lord would do and that is His mandate to us.
But the most important fact of all that we all need to remember, is that our God - the One true God, is still in control. Our God is a God of justice, and His justice will prevail. Our tasks: We need to join in the National Day of Prayer tomorrow, and continue to make every day a day of prayer. We need to pray for our government as they find and deal with those who had any part in this heinous tragedy, for God's wisdom in pursuing HIS justice. We need to pray for the families and friends who have lost loved ones, and yes - we need to pray for those who brought this incredible pain upon us.
I will leave you with this passage, which I hope will comfort you as it has me:
Psalm 73:23-26 (NLT) Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.