“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:20-23, NLT).
It doesn’t seem like it’s been 14 years. I do still remember where I was and what I was doing when I saw the second World Trade Center tower being hit by the plane. It’s forever etched in my memory like, I suppose, the memory of JFK’s assassination was etched in the minds of the previous generation.
Whenever I write down “September 11” or “9/11” on any form, my mind immediately flashes back to that day. I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like for those directly affected who are sharply reminded of those loved ones they lost in one of the WTC buildings or at the Pentagon or in the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.
Although FDR meant December 7, 1941 when he talked about the day that would live in infamy, I think September 11, 2001 falls into that category. No one will ever remember any other anniversary other than this one.
I still believe that God can take the worst tragedies and turn them into something beautiful. He can work all things, even the worst of circumstances and events, for good.
Nearly 3,000 people ranging in ages from 2 to 85 lost their lives that day. That’s bad enough, but I think about how it could have been so much worse. Those planes could have been full. If it had been later on in the day, there would have been more people at their offices in the World Trade Center. That plane that crashed in Pennsylvania could have actually made it to the White House and done way more damage there.
I also wonder how many people’s eyes were opened to spiritual realities on that day. I wonder how many people cried out desperately to God and found out how close He was, ready to answer. Maybe more than a few eternal destinies got changed that day.
In a fallen world, tragedy seems inevitable. Suffering isn’t optional. Only what we do with these tragedies and sufferings is left for us to choose. We can choose to be bitter or we can choose to be better for it.
Or maybe we can look to see how God will turn the worst situation into the best possible outcome.