September 11, 2011
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." Genesis 50:20
Where were you when you first heard the news ten years ago today? News that our people, our country, our freedom and liberties were under attack?
received the news while sitting on my living room couch brushing my teeth before work.
I realize the couch may seem an unusual place to brush one's teeth.
However, the clock read 7:45AM (CST), nearly time for me to leave for
the office. A reporter from the Today show announced that someone
had mistakenly flown a plane into one of the World Trade Center towers.
How in the heck does someone accidentally fly a plane into a building, in downtown New York no less, I wondered as toothpaste foamed in my mouth. I ran to my bathroom to spit (you wanted to know where I was ten years ago today didn't you?) and returned to my living room horrified to hear the answer to my question revealed.
Someone doesn't just accidentally fly a plane into a building.
train for years, studying the way of the people over which
they wish to rule, learning to master in deception. They conceal their true identity and invade a land they can't call their own. And when their
intended victims least expect it--they attack.
friends, as much animosity as we may feel against those who carried out
the attacks on our country ten years ago today, Ephesians 6:12
reminds us that our battle is not "against flesh-and-blood enemies, but
against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty
powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly
Our enemy is the true master of deception (John 8:44). The one who came to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). The serpent who disguises himself as an angel of light
(2 Corinthians 11:14) in a land he will never rightly call his own.
God says, "What others intend for harm I promise to use for good."
Though I'll always remember the image of the twin towers on September 11, 2001, the picture that burns more brightly in my mind is that of a country which stood united. Many lives were lost that day; spouses were widowed; children were orphaned; traveling by air proves more complicated than it once did. But God used the events of September 11, 2001 to bring about much good in our beloved homeland. Through the events of September 11, 2001, God revealed to this nation our greatest need--a need for revival, a need for someplace (or Someone) in which to place our hope, a need . . . for Him.
As I reflect on the past ten years I realize my life looks completely different than it once did. I can't say God necessarily used the events of September 11, 2001 to change the course of my life. Rather, God used a different event--one the enemy meant for harm--to bring about much good in my life. The event I'm referring to is the loss of my sweet child.
I always assumed I would return to work as a research engineer for a prominent snack food company in North Texas after having children. More of a math and science person, writing and speaking and teaching were not occupations I would have ever considered including on my dossier. But the death of my daughter caused all of my hopes and dreams to fall apart.
Out of sheer desperation I eventually called out to God and asked Him to show me how His promises of goodness would ever hold true for me as a bereaved mother. Not knowing what to do with the rest of my life I asked God to lead the way. As I drew nearer to Him through His Word I realized God had filled me with a desire to reach out to other women enduring hard times. My life looks unlike anything I ever envisioned. On account of my relationship with God and the place(s) He has led me through that relationship, my life is more full and more rich than I ever imagined. God took what the enemy meant for harm and used it for good.
What about you?
As we pause to remember the events which occurred ten years ago today, I invite you to take a moment to reflect upon your own life. How has God used for good what someone else intended for harm? If you've yet to see good result from your struggles, would you consider asking God to lead the way?