In 2001, I was an American Airlines flight attendant, serving passengers from New York to Los Angeles, Boston to Orlando, and every major city in between. A Kansas girl living in New York City, I was fascinated by the energy there, the colorful personalities, the subway camaraderie, and the constant buzz of life. That summer I moved back to the Midwest and left the excitement of the city behind, but my heart still held a vibrant picture of God’s precious creation — taxi horns, street vendors, and all.
And then, 8:46 a.m. September 11 happened. Do you remember where you were? For many of us, it was business as usual that morning. Some of us were tuned in to our TVs already, and the lighthearted morning show changed suddenly to an unimaginable scene of terror. Is this really happening right now? Are those real people?
Some were driving to work, and what came over the radio sounded like a movie trailer. This must be a mistake.
Others got a call with a frightened voice on the other end of the line.
And many wondered, What’s happening? Are we safe? Is everything going to be okay?
I thought of my fellow flight attendants flying the same routes I had flown, discovering that they would never make it to their destination. My heart broke for the city I had come to love.
Yet even today when we ask ourselves, “What is happening? Are we safe? Is it going to be okay?”, here’s what I know: God was there in the chaos, and He is with us in this moment. God’s heart breaks for His precious children, but He is never surprised by our struggles. He goes before us and can be trusted with every detail. God is our safe place today and for all eternity.
On this 20th anniversary of 9/11, we honor the memory of those who lost their lives, and we give thanks for those who had the courage to serve in the face of danger. While Patriot Day (9/11) is recognized as the official day of remembrance for this tragic event, we know that any day is a good day to lift those most impacted up in prayer.
Dear Loving Father,
We pause to remember the great losses and courageous acts of September 11th. We lift up those who are still affected — families of the victims, police officers, firemen, first responders, and all who were involved. We pray for the light of Christ to flood the hearts of people everywhere. We believe You desire to redeem Your creation, and we trust that beauty will continue to come from the ashes of those dark days. Surround us with Your mighty angels of protection, give us compassion for one another in all of life’s circumstances, and instill in us the courage to answer Your call. Amen.
Beth Williams says
I remember that day well. I was working at university when the first plane hit. I thought huh? Lets get back to work. When the second plane hit we all ran for the TV & then they shut the university down & sent everyone home. I watched it some on tv. It was & still is heart breaking. We question where God is in our chaos. He is in the midst of it with us. His heart breaking along with ours. Nothing that happens to us surprises Him. He walks before us & is omnipotent. Even this pandemic didn’t shock Him. So today & everyday I stop to ask God to comfort those who lost loved ones & thank Him for the courageous people.
Ruth Mills says
“He goes before us & can be trusted with every detail.” Great words to lean into every day & to share with those that don’t know Him yet. I cannot fathom life without God being our safe place for here & eternity. May He be magnified on this anniversary & every day.
Well spoken, Paige! Thank you for your encouraging words. May you be richly blessed today and always!
I too want to never forget those who have lost their lives to preserve our liberty. It has always been that someone must die for the rest to live. Christ did that for us so that we can live eternally with God the father. During the American revolution many died to secure a nation not yet born but “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Another war was fought to secure states rights and to liberate an enslaved group of people. It was a civil war fought by the north against the south. Sometimes families were torn apart due to differing views.
Then further down the road of history we became engaged in a war in a country most people had never heard about -Vietnam. Again division in our nation but as before, division in families.
War and rumors of war have been resounding since the dawn of mankind. This is nothing new in the annals of history. Not to God and not to those who have studied history.
We cannot change history, nor can we see into the future. What we can and must do is to depend on the Almighty for His grace and mercy. Then we pray for His forgiveness as a nation and as individuals.
Let us join together as a nation united to honor our history and hope for our future and pray for those among us who may have strayed from the truth. Our God and His truth keep marching on. So let us go on Christian soldiers with the cross of Jesus going on before us.
With the words of Sir Winston Churchill I also say “Never give in. Never give in.”
Amen Amen and Amen
Jane Haywood says
I am reminded that God has one Plan A. He’s not surprised when tragedies occur. He doesn’t panic and go into, “What’s Our Plan B?” because He doesn’t have a Plan B. Everything is according to His purpose and plan. We can rest in that, even in the most chaotic, confusing, painful times. And in those times that are joyful because He is our heavenly Father. 9/11, as so many painful times in our world, are days to bring us to our knees dependent upon Him.