Links Daily Devotional

Remembering 9/11/01…

“For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.” (Lamentations 3:33, NIV)

As I write this, we are only a few days away from the 10-year memorial of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. I am about to play the LPGA Futures Tour event in Albany, NY, where a moment of silence and ceremony will be held before the last round takes place on Sunday, September 11, 2011.

I think most of us remember where we were on that day and what we were doing. I received frantic calls from family members as my husband had been working at the World Trade Center until September 7. They did not know if he had returned home yet. Thankfully, he was home safe. I turned on the TV and watched in horror and disbelief. Many other wives and children and husbands and parents were not as fortunate; they lost their loved ones that day.

I really tried to write about golf in my devotional this week, but couldn’t. A round of golf can sometimes be a perfect analogy for life, a microcosm of our human experience, elation and disappointment wrapped up in four hours. But there is no real fear of harm or loss on the golf course. Life is real. Grief and loss are real.

And as I look back on that day and think of all the other sufferings that humankind undergoes on a daily basis, I am tempted to think and ask, “Why would God allow this?” But then I remember that there is another force at work in this world, that there is an enemy to blame. And I think the enemy’s strategy is to turn us against God—personally, in our families, relationships, and in our nation. God, of course, never turns away from us—He is faithful even if we become faithless, and only waits for our return. But we can be deceived when we hold a root of anger toward our Lord and Savior for suffering and loss in our lives. We must redirect our holy indignation toward the rightful owner. We must not forget who is the author of evil, seeking to steal, kill and destroy.

It is not God. God is love. He is good, always. It is His nature. That is why He established His plan of redemption before the beginning of the world. While He does not desire to bring affliction or grief to anyone, through the trials He allows we are better equipped to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1). We know there will be troubles in this world, but we also know that we have eternal life, having been saved from death and the enemy through Jesus Christ. From the proper perspective of eternal life, we all have a joyous ending!

The next question I am sometimes tempted to ask is “Why were certain people afflicted and others not? Why was my husband spared?” Jesus answered that question in Luke 13: “Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Luke 13:4-5).

He was plainly saying that none deserved this more than others. We are all sinners and have fallen short of His divinity. In fact, we all deserve punishment. Jesus was not telling us how we can avoid hardship or can live free from all trouble. He was simply telling us to come to Him, while we still can. That is the answer. He is the answer!

As I remember September 11, I recognize that I cannot know the day that hardship may come on me or my family. And I also cannot know the day when Christ will reign again. But we are called to be ready, and He is always at work in offering His gift of grace. I pray for His help so that we can be like His servant Caleb in these times.

Lord, animate us with a different spirit that says we are truly capable of facing anything with our God (Numbers 26:65), and help us in sharing Your saving grace with others.

Isabelle Beisiegel

September 12, 2011

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