The tragedy of September 11 has cast a cloud of anxiety and fear across
our nation. It is especially evident at the airports with the heightened
security, the body searches, the parking restrictions and the presence
of the military. I have not yet grown accustomed to seeing soldiers
dressed in combat fatigues with automatic rifles patrolling our airports
with orders to protect us, no matter what it takes.
Its a sad day for society but a great day for the church. The
Bible and church history tell us that the church does its best in bad
times and does its worst in good times. People instinctively turn their
thoughts to God and some to the church during times of crisis. We must
be ready with an adequate response.
I vividly remember the evening when Desert Storm was launched by the
allied coalition against Iraq. Our midweek service had just begun and
when we learned that the ground war was under way, all Bible classes
were dismissed and everyone gathered in the sanctuary to pray. And what
a prayer time we had. Several people had family members in the war and
this added to our prayers of desperation. Three days later, victory
was assured and, unfortunately, the intercessory prayer time lost its
appeal. For years, I have received comfort from 2 Timothy 1:7 during
times of stress: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but
of power and of love and of a sound mind" (NKJV).
Gods peace in our lives is not dependent on outward circumstances
or economic conditions. In fact, during difficult times Gods peace
can be the most evident. Hopefully, these days of uncertainty will remind
us that peace with God is our most important treasure and it cannot
be stolen by thieves, eaten by termites or destroyed by rust. I heard
a comment recently that sums it up very well "I cannot end
up with less than I started with because I started with nothing. Now
I have Jesus and that is all that really matters." Fear is from
Satan, and it is God who gives us peace, no matter what kind of storm
we find ourselves in. I choose to walk in Gods peace.
Charles E. Hackett