We were a nation in shock. So many innocents, from so many countries, lost their lives that day. And so many more paid the ultimate price later when their health was affected by the toxic air. So many first responders lost their lives or became terminally ill. Children were without fathers and mothers. Fathers and mothers lost their sons and daughters. Heroes were born that day, and heroes died that day. And our nation wept.
Americans flocked, enmasse, to churches across the nation. They mourned, they wept and they plead with a God they hadn't spoken to in decades for surcease from the pain. For three to six months, America's churches were full. And then people forgot and began to find better things to do on Sunday again.
Seven years later, we still face war torn disaster after natural disaster wracking the world. People across the globe have opened their hearts and their wallets, even traveling to devastated nations in order to help a people whose worlds have been turned upside down. However, we have become disaster weary, giving nowhere nearly as much as we have in the past to the recently ravaged countries of Myanmar and China. Why is that?
Well, as far as Myanmar is concerned, the Myanmar military is taking every supply being sent to that ravaged nation and using it for themselves. The death tolls amongst her citizens rise daily. And it is difficult to donate to a country's military when her people are dying. So that one, I actually understand.
As for China, a communist regime, who allows her citizens to have only one child, hundreds of thousands of Chinese couples lost that "one" child to this recent earthquake. My heart literally aches for the mothers and fathers who no longer have that one bright hope left in their lives. Their families are at an end. Yet another nation devastated by natural disaster. And yes, this Sunday I'm adding a little extra to Humanitarian, Fast Offering and Welfare when I pay my tithing. At least I know that the needed supplies are definitely making their way to these devastated people.
Here in our nation we have faced earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes and the American people continue to give of their money and their time in order to help their fellow citizens in need. It is an admirable quality of the American people who gave $295 billion in charitable donations last year, 4% of which went overseas, according to Glenn Beck.
But when it comes right down to it: When the rain has stopped, the waters have dropped, the ground has stopped shaking and the wind has passed on . . . what do you, as an individual, have left. Indeed, times of tragedy always bring us back to our Lord Jesus Christ. Almost all people turn to Him when their lives are out of control.
But looking at the world today, I see people who have not strayed from that path to Jesus Christ. And yes, they deal with travesty, tragedy, sorrow, illness, disease and pain, but their inner core remains strong and hopeful. Why is that? Because when clinging to the Iron Rod, which is the word of God, there is a hope instilled in your heart and spirit that can only be killed by you. If Jesus Christ is real to you, there is a Light that cannot be extinguished.
So truly, it may be darkest before the dawn, but remember: Those who remain in Christ will also have a core strength which will carry them through the darkest nights. If it takes a day and a night kneeling in prayer to draw on that strength, then that is what we must do. If it takes turning off the television or computer and falling to our knees asking for the strength to make it through one more day, then that is what we must do. Drive to the tops of the mountains and remind yourself what this world is all about by looking out over the majesty that is His creation. And there, in that natural temple of God, kneel and pray. Pour out your concerns, your thoughts, your worries, even your joys and then be still, and listen.
That light which breaks the darkest night is Jesus Christ. And through Him we find the strength, courage and power to continue moving toward Him twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. You can do it and so can I.
Return to the Neighborhood!